The rush for the digitisation of payments in India is clearly proving to have been a temporary fad linked to the demonetisation of the country’s two highest denominations instead of from a desire to replace cash for mobile payments, as the Indian government might have wanted its citizens to believe.
NCR Corporation, which runs the majority of India’s ATMs, said that cash withdrawals have been growing and that cash in circulation has reached pre-demonetisation levels. Navroze Dastur, NCR’s Managing Director in India, believes that India can only aim to be a less cash society – and not a cashless one – because of the current shortcomings in infrastructure and technology.
NCR is confident that its activities in India are far from threatened by digitisation. In fact, it is expecting to see growth in demand for ATMs in rural areas and an increase in replacements: there have already been 1,000 orders for new ATM units.
And if demonetisation was meant to fight fraud and corruption, it seems it not only didn’t achieve the desired goals (99% of all demonetised banknotes were accepted at bank branches), but that there are other channels that need to be more closely monitored such as the use of cryptocurrencies. India’s tax authority has contacted 100,000 investors this month that are suspected to be using these virtual monies for tax evasion or illegal activities.