The word 'cashless', 'digital payments' is currently trending and is the most read about after 8/11. Almost every day, these terms are commonly used in different Indian media.
With the government introducing various incentive schemes for merchants and consumers to boost digital payments by reducing MDR, we expect to see a behavioural aspect to change with rise in digital payments in 2017. And more importantly, it is important to observe if we Indians have complete flexibility for making cashless payments in different modes.
Unlike the western world where credit cards are the default payment mode, in India there are various payment options available: Payment through netbanking, Debit/Credit cards, mobile wallets, mPoS, UPI, QR Code Aadhar enabled payment, *99# and so on. With demonetisation, all of these modes have seen quantum jump in volumes . These digital platforms will benefit more as the market moves away from COD (Cash-on-delivery).
Merchants on the other hand, are grappling with the change with short-term and long-term solutions. In the short term, they have started accepting mobile money transfers, but soon will migrate to swipe machines or online payments. It is important for merchants to offer his consumer a wide range of payment options, depending on his/her business model.For e.g. A merchant may accept a mobile wallet payment, but the consumer may not have that brand’s mobile wallet.
All merchants - regardless of small business or running a network of brick-and-mortar stores, online or mobile shopping environments — need to offer flexible payment options by seamlessly integrating various payment channels.
While an omni-channel payment experience will enable merchants to provide flexibility and convenience to Indian consumers, the success of it depends on Indian payment service providers’ ability to deliver it.
Written By: Anand Ramachandran, CFO, TechProcess Payment Services