The goal of the Draft Proposals for Facilitating Electronic Transactions is to use incentives to nudge people into swapping cash for e-money
Event one: I’m buying something from an Apple store for a favourite nephew. I’ve just used my credit card to make the payment. I’m asked to show an identity proof, which is then photocopied and the paper kept. Why, I ask. The card companies want us to do this so that stolen cards are not used. At the other check-out station, a man slaps a thick wad of cash on the counter. He has just bought something that costs almost 1 lakh. The cash is counted. A receipt is issued and the man walks out. Why did you not take his identification, I ask. Mild titter of mirth—not needed, ma’am; many people pay cash. Unfair, isn’t it? I’m paying by card; so it is obviously tax paid money. That guy is paying by cash. We know who carries so much cash, right? Nods all around. And then we all move on. That is how it is in India. Cash gets the fast lane.