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RBI envisions fourfold growth in digital transactions by 2021 - Shanmugam

What’s in news?

  • Over 100% average annualised growth in UPI, IMPS likely
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has envisaged four times growth in digital transaction in two years, in the payment system vision document for 2019-2021 released on Wednesday.
  • Payment Systems Vision 2021, with its 36 specific action points and 12 specific outcomes, aims to achieve a ‘highly digital’ and ‘cash-lite’ society through the goal posts of competition, cost effectiveness, convenience and confidence (4Cs).

Accelerated growth

  • The RBI expects accelerated growth in individual retail electronic payment systems, both in terms of number of transactions and increased availability.
  • Payment systems like UPI and IMPS are likely to register average annualised growth of over 100%, and NEFT at 40%, over the vision period. “The number of digital transactions is expected to increase more than four times from 2,069 crore in December 2018 to 8,707 crore in December 2021,” the document said.
  • A 35% growth has been targeted in use of digital modes of payment for purchase of goods and services through increase in debit card transactions at point-of-sale terminals during the vision period.
  • Use of debit cards in PoS transactions is expected to be at least 44% of total debit card transactions.
  • “In value terms, it is 15.2% in 2018-19 (5.2% in 2014-15) which is expected to be 22% by end 2021,” it said. It is expected that there will be 5 million PoS machines by 2021. Mobile based transaction are projected to increase by 50%, considering lower base.

No specific target

  • Interestingly, no specific target has been considered for reducing cash in circulation.
  • “While no specific target is considered for cash in circulation, the enhanced availability of PoS infrastructure is expected to reduced demand for cash and thus, over time, achieve reduction in Cash in Circulation (CIC) as a percentage of GDP,” the document said. 

Cash lite economy

  • A Cash-lite economy is an economy whereby there is reduction in the high usage/volume of cash in circulation. It encourages the use of electronic payment channels and reduces the cost of cash production and transportation.

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