Why cash is still king for Indian consumers


Payments related technological innovations are changing the way the Indian consumer pays for her spends. However, cash remains king. According to a Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) report released in March, Concept Paper on Card Acceptance Infrastructure, usage of debit cards at ATMs still account for 88% of the total volume and around 94% of the total value of debit card transactions. Compared to this, transactions at point of sale (PoS) terminals account for only 12% of volume and 6% of value of transactions.

The concept paper also noted that although transactions have risen over the year, growth in acceptance infrastructure (ATMs and PoS machines) has not kept pace. Between October 2013 and October 2015, the number of ATMs increased by around 43% while PoS machines increased by 28%. As of December 2015, there were 0.19 million ATMs and 1.2 million PoS machines. “…rate of growth in setting up card acceptance infrastructure has also slowed down during these three years,” said the note.

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