Internet use boosted digital payments
almost 50 million indians use internet 50 hours a month. internet applications are the talk of the day
Indian Overseas Bank MD & CEO R Subramaniakumar laid emphasis on making efforts to become a ‘less cash’ society. He said that cash has a character of anonymity and the moment it moves out of someone’s hand, it can’t be tracked easily. He said that the major reason behind moving to a less cash society is the cash to GDP ratio being highest in the world. “Huge money is being spent in printing, circulating and managing the cash by various authorities and regulators of the government,” he said.
He also talked about some of the alternatives available with the government. “Digital has emerged as the major alternate to cash. Internet is one of the biggest inventions of mankind. In India, in 2001 around seven million people were using internet which has increased to 30 times within 15 years. Internet is one of the most disruptive innovations in the recent past. Now, we can’t imagine our lives without smart phones without which we start feeling restless,” Subramaniakumar said.
“Almost 50 million Indians use internet 50 hours a month. Internet applications are the talk of the day. Internet has created new business models and verticals like social media. New internet applications are driving net neutrality. The moment we want to move towards less cash society, we probably start looking at money as a data. E-commerce platforms are shifting the users from shopping at the stores to shopping on the go. The internet user community in India is growing exponentially,” he said.
He highlighted a few statistics on increasing number of internet users in the country. “In the first 20 years of introduction of internet, 100 million users hooked on to it and I am sure that over 100 million new users will be using internet every year because of increasing penetration. The reason for internet’s exponential growth is not only the increasing penetration, but affordability of the devices and data plans rolled out by service providers. Introduction of vernacular languages in the internet has increased its usage and people are accepting it well,” he said.
He said that people’s habit and way of doing things have changed. “Internet has the power to impact our lives in various sectors like education and entertainment. Consumers having net connections first go online to get the feel of a particular product before buying it online where they usually get discounts. As an instance, people often go to malls to check how a particular item looks like and then they buy it online. This kind of disruption is not happening in the financial services that may be one of the reasons that we are not able to deepen products and services to the last mile,” he said.
r subramaniakumar, MD & CEO, indian Overseas bank