Digital Payments are here to stay. From fruit and vegetable vendors to designer stores and beauty parlours, people are increasingly using mobile applications to transfer money. They are convenient yes, but also a blessed relief until cash flow is reinstated into the economy post the recent demonetisation drive. [Feature Image Credit: Indian Express]
With more than a billion mobile users in the country and 200 million internet users, the government is also encouraging digital payments by giving service tax exemption for up to Rs 2000 every day.
Here are five apps we think are very useful for making payments online:
1. BHIM App - Developed by National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), it works with unified payment interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts. Your mobile number will be your payment address. No internet connectivity is required to make a payment. This application allows up to Rs 20,000 worth of transaction in 24 hours. Launched on Dec 30, it has over 5 million downloads already and is one of most downloaded apps on Google Play India. Government is betting big on this app and has of late made it, its big pitch in the payments space.
2. AEPS - The Aadhaar Enabled Payment Service helps one make payments through his/her Aadhaar number by linking it to your bank account. You can transfer money to any other account linked with the person’s Aadhaar number. Security is the best aspect of this application, it uses a person’s fingerprint as password so no one can forge it.
3. PayTM- The wallet has become synonymous with the idea of digital payments. It’s a payments system for consumers but also offers a platform for online shoppers. Launched in 2014, according to a Quartz report, the app has seen its daily transactions triple to 7.5 million; in December 2016 it had 173 million users. The app has also received a nod from the Reserve bank of India to start a payments bank. It will eventually merge one’s Paytm wallet with their bank account so their wallet and bank account balance will be same. As its CFO Madhur Deora recently said in an interview with Forbes, “With the power of technology and innovation-at-scale, we believe we can make a difference in the lives of hundreds of millions of Indians who currently do not have adequate banking services available to them. We will leverage the large number of smartphones in India, and our large network of use cases to make banking simple and convenient.”
4. Mobikwik: An e-wallet platform, has seen 400% growth in transactions post the demonitisation drive according to a Financial Express report. The app has now partnered with the Tata Trust and Google India to felicitate cashless transactions in rural parts of the country. It is a trusted go-to for its 4.5 crore users because of being just 700KB in size, it runs in slower bandwidths as well. Having recently announced zero surcharge on Petrol and LPG gas payments, Tiku said, “The adoption of digital payments is observing record growth post demonetization and even though the cash situation is stabilizing, masses in India have developed the habit of paying cashless.”
5. SBI Buddy - A semi-closed prepaid wallet which is supported by the Banking giant State Bank of India. It is available in 13 languages and can be used in transferring money to other wallets and bank accounts, mobile recharge, making payments, even if they don’t have an SBI Bank account.
Meanwhile chipset maker Qualcomm has warned that digital payments made in India are not fully secure as none of them have the adequate level of hardware security required for safe transactions. But at a recent event at IIT-Kharagpur, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has promised to ensure digital security for online payments in the country. For customers, while the change is new, the options will be many to choose from as the system becomes more robust going forward.