Yes, to keep up with the rest of the world, countries like India have been long-eyeing the idea of paperless banking. And we’ve seen many measures by the government to make this idea a reality. Top companies and startups, too, are pursuing the same goal. Millions of people today, in India, use apps like DBS, PayTM, PhonePe, Tez, and Mobikwik. Even the infrastructureof banks has improved over the time with the majority of transactions happening digitally. And not to forget about the introduction of Blockchain technology that can totally revolutionize this sector.
However, even with significant strides in this direction, we’re still at the very bottom of the ladder. According to a survey, online banking users in India will only reach 150 million. Comparing to its 1.32 billion population, this number is quite small.
One needs to understand that just because the reach of smartphone and internet is spiraling doesn’t mean people become are getting educated. Were they getting educated, the likes of Facebook and Whatsapp would have been put to good use and not to spread fake news, spread rape videos and issue murder threats. Look beyond the glam and bigheadedness of urban Indians, the majority of the country is still clueless about how the internet works and how to effectively use it. For them, banking is still the same thing as it was decades back—go to the bank, take a number, stand in a line, deposit/withdraw money and leave for home. So many people still do not know how to use ATM. They don’t know how paperless banking works.
So, while we’re working on improving the infrastructure and mature this way of banking, we must also spend extensively in educating people about it. Everyone must be introduced to paper banking properly and step-by-step. They must be told why it’s important and how convenient it is. Education is the key if we really want to progress in this direction.
But as of what’s going on right now, I don’t think ministers are in any mood in providing education to people-*****-voters. See, illiterate people are easier to fool than the ones educated. We will never be investing big and seriously in making the nation informed and educated. We have never done that—and we will never do in coming years. So, while paperless banking in India is very possible – even imminent – don’t expect this to be happening very soon.