Awareness about digital transactions must for cashless economy

Roorkee: Financial literacy and awareness about digital transactions is paramount in rural India to make the cashless economy a reality, executives of mobile wallet-provider services said here at a panel discussion.

In the on-going three-day tech festival at IIT Roorkee, the panel discussed the effects of demonetisation, use of mobile wallets and digital transactions in rural India.

"Illiterate people do not know how to use digital transactions, though they know how to use a smartphone. But we are trying to spread financial literacy," Head (Enterprise, Sales and Strategy) of Mobikwik Atul Mehta said.

Mehta added that people in large numbers were using mobile wallets following demonetisation. 

Vice President of Reliance Jio Money Karthik Nandyal said financial awareness was an on-going process and it would take some time to reach every part of rural India. 

He cited examples of other countries where cashless economy was functional and said that India can also make it possible.

The panelists said that even after demonetisation, there were parts of rural India where there was no concept of banking. 

"Post-demonetisation, though there has been some awareness but more needs to be done. Banking system in rural areas will help aggregating the capital for productivity purposes," Mehta said.

On how secure the digital transactions were, Professor Emeritus of Management Studies at IIT Roorkee Vinay Kumar Nangia said there were lapses in security aspects and there was a need to enhance the security architecture.

Though the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) assured earlier this week that there is "no vulnerability of loopholes" reported in Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) or the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) applications, Nangia said that BHIM was not a forensically tested app. 

"It cannot handle the load as it is expected. There is a danger," Nangia said.

However, Mehta argued that the digital payments through mobile wallets was safe and they were working on making the transactions more secure. 

IIT Roorke Director Ajit Kumar Chaturvedi told IANS that the campus was an example of cashless transactions as most of the vendors inside the institute used e-wallets. He said the campus also hopes to spread awareness among other people outside the campus so that cashless economy becomes a reality.