‘Digital transactions are next big revolution’

Executive chairman of Flipkart Sachin Bansal (c), and others at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Digital transactions is the next revolution waiting to happen in all economies. More so in India because of digital commerce penetration, monopolies of top players in any sector will be shaken by the new players, says executive chairman and co-founder of Flipkart Sachin Bansal.

Participating in the panel discussion on ‘Payment Platforms:What’s the Next Game Changer’ at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the HICC here on Wednesday, Mr. Bansal said digital payments would multiply thanks to growing e-commerce. He also said UPI platform, Aadhaar and GST were three game changers that made digital transactions easier. The benefit of doing digital transactions far outweigh that of cash transactions and bring in transparency and curb parallel economy.

Use of blockchain for land records by Andhra Pradesh government would be another game changer as clear land titles in India were an issue and the technology would address it, Mr. Bansal added.

Ruth Patricia Goodwin-Groen of Better Than Cash Alliance, a programme of United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) said these were interesting times for entrepreneurship in India as financial inclusion was being given top priority with millions of bank accounts were being opened for financial inclusion.

Lauding India’s initiative in providing digital identity (Aadhaar) and digital transactions which was acknowledged by G-20 nations, Dr. Ruth said the big take away was saving of billion of dollars through Direct Benefit Transfer facilitated through fillip given to financial inclusion and opening of Jan Dhan accounts.

She however says digital infrastructure and ecosystem should work in all corners of the country and for everyone for the digital transactions to go to the next level. However she advises entrepreneurs investing in digital financial ecosystem to be patient to expect decent returns on their initial investment.

Financial inclusion

At present, 70 % of transactions in Flipkart are cash transactions and in US and UK, digital payments account for 50 % of transactions. The financial inclusion however has advantages for instance it builds the credit history, makes it easy for an entrepreneur to secure a loan. Speed , consistency and scale and security would accelerate digital transactions, Dr. Ruth Patricia said.

PayPal vice president Lisa Mather, also Chief International Counsel, who moderated the session said financial services companies in various countries were collaborating to strengthen the digital infrastructure without entirely waiting for the governments to expedite digital transactions.

On the concern about cost of digital transactions being high, about two to four %, why should traders be forced to bear the burden, Mr. Bansal hoped as the volume of digital transactions would increase, cost of transaction would drop as happened in China. Not many would realize but cost of cash transactions would be more than two % of total transactions and then the cost of handling cash. Cash transactions would not build your history.

The panel agreed that digital transactions would also enter education and health care sectors which remained largely untouched in India. Technology disruption is waiting to happen in these two sectors too and many start ups are working to provide solutions to ease credit problems.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 1:26:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/digital-transactions-are-next-big-revolution/article21128970.ece

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