Indians like using cash and are using it more than before the November 2016 demonetisation. According to data from the Reserve Bank of India analysed by the India Times, ATM withdrawals recorded a 22% increase in April 2018 from the previous year, reaching 2.6 lakh crore. In comparison, cash withdrawals accounted for 2.2 lakh crore in the months leading to demonetisation.
Debit card usage is also up, showing that Indian consumers are comfortable with the flexibility of choosing whichever payment method best applies to their needs. In fact, debit card usage at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals grew by 24% compared to 2017. Contrary to cash however, debit card usage was very low – almost 50% less – prior to Modi’s demonetisation policy.
NCR Corporation’s Managing Director for India, Navroze Dastur confirmed that there is a surge in ATM usage and that “the average number of transactions per machine also significantly grew.
Analysts believe that this trend will continue – where cash and debit card usage grow in parallel – thanks to positive economic forecasts. Unfortunately, despite growing demand for cash and increased ATM usage, the number of deployed ATMs has not increased to meet demand.