Electronic payments spike

Electronic methods now make up nearly two-thirds of all retail payments, according to central bank data

While the Reserve Bank of India mulls over a plan to introduce plastic currency notes, more and more Indians are using electronic methods for their transactions. Electronic methods — computerised transfer of money and use of credit/debit cards — now make up nearly two-thirds of all retail payments, central bank data show.

In 2013-14, electronic methods accounted for over a third of 149 trillion worth of retail payments.

The average value of electronic transactions has increased to 23,400 in 2013-14 from 9,536 in 2009-10, an affirmation of their increasing popularity. It is a natural progression of sorts because of the spread of Internet banking facilities and mobile technologies.

However, it is not clear whether the increased use of these methods is driven by heavier usage by existing users or those who have been hitherto excluded from the financial system.

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