Category Archives: Technology

Cashless in India

img_9371The Demonetization has taken everyone even the ones who announced it by surprise, and suddenly there is deafening noise about digital economy. Digitization has been a known challenge in Indian economy mainly due to 2 two reasons :

  1. Not all are educated enough
  2. Not all have internet connectivity

However keeping aside these teething issues, I would like to look into the areas where I certainly would like to have digital involvement rather than physical money.

Toll Plaza

Demonetization or not this is one place which should have had cashless transactions long back. The people using Toll plaza are either rich or part of organized transports like Trucks and buses. A cashless usage of Toll plaza can reduce the average transaction time significantly where the toll attendant has to tender the change back, enabling less stagnancy and faster movement of vehicles. (Paytm has recently announced it’s partnering with NHAI for the same)

Public Transport

Public transport like Train, Metro, Bus, Taxi and Autos. This again is one more place where cashless transactions can help a lot both to the passenger and the providers.  Developed cities use single prepaid cards that could be used across multiple public transports.

Utility Bills 

Utility bills like Telephone, electricity , Gas, etc., are one more candidate for online payments and indeed many of them have already started online payments. No one stands in lines to pay these bills in cash now a days. But these services require you to have a debit/credit card which can be one issue.

Small Vendors

Small vendors like Milkman, newspaper vendors, Tea shops , kinara shops still depend a lot on cash transactions and this is where the rubber meets the road and real change is required to enable them with cashless POS (Point of Sale) devices. The recent demonetization has shown how these small vendors too have adopted cashless transactions had proved that all we need is a will to change the means will follow.

It wont be long before India adopts the digital revolution. This also signals a huge potential for startups and biggys to come up with innovative ideas and ride this wave of digital economy.

Digital India campaign launched by the Government of India to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.

Money matters

This is old post of mine but makes perfectly sense in today’s context in India post demonetization and drive for digital economy

R' Cube

The past decade was the time when Credit cards reached the masses and a lot of banks moved from the traditional on-premise banking to online banking and debit/credit cards. Almost a century old practice of using paper money was replaced overnight with credit cards and debit cards.  People started actively using plastic money rather than the paper money. The wallet got shrunk for some time and people found it greatly helpful not to be carrying wads of money but were able to easily buy stuff without much fuss and not worrying about the need to have exact change. Of course there was security concerns on what if someone stole your card or the information and siphoned out your hard earned money. Cash transactions had become a thing of past and card money was in vogue. But the problem here again was people started accumulating cards from different banks and again…

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Watch your Step

AR (Augmented Reality) games like Pokémon GO solve one of the most important concern of the digital immigrant parents that their kids do not go out and play and stay glued to their smartphone/tablet.For those who have been living under a rock and do not know what Pokémon GO is – Its a augmented reality based mobile game .

Pikachu-appearsThe game uses your smartphone’s camera, GPS, and position sensors to tell the game what to display and where, creating the illusion that cute little cartoon “pocket monsters” are standing in your living room, on the sidewalk outside, or in the park nearby. You grab free Pokéballs (to catch the critters, naturally) at local sites of historical interest. And businesses can purchase Pokémon “lures” as advertising to draw imaginary monsters and real fans to their physical location.

Coming out alongside the app is a smart wearable called the Pokémon GO Plus. It can be worn like a watch or just carried in a pocket. The GO Plus uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with your phone and let you know when something is happening in the game, like when there’s a Pokémon nearby, so you don’t need to be staring at your phone all day everyday to participate. You can even do simple actions like throwing Pokéballs by pressing the button in the center of the device (which glows in rainbow colors).

One challenge though is that the game has access to lot of your online data and there is a growing concern that this can be misused when in wrong hands. Also Pokemon GO has been under scrutiny across the world from those concerned that the game could lead people into dangerous areas or cause them to stop paying attention to the road. There are reports in the US and Canada of men falling from a cliff while playing the game, as well as people being knocked by cars.