Startup Leaders On India Going Cashless
“The RBI is like God. They will tell you what to do but won’t tell you how to do it. Banks are like the mere mortals who will interpret the commands as they see and will sometimes make mistakes in carrying out the orders.”
Photo Credit : Innov8 and Digital India Foundation, Innov8 and Digital India Foundation,
Arvind Gupta, BJP IT head, in his capacity as founder of Digital India Foundation moderated a discussion which saw some of the biggest ecomm and ewallet players in the country gather to share their opinions on demonetisation, what it means for ecommerce players, how investors feel about it and how it will shape the future of transactions across the country.
From founders to COOs and VPs of Flipkart, Snapdeal, OYO Rooms to Olacabs, the overall view was resounding positivity for demonetisation as it has jump started the cashless, digital economy. A high incidence of meetings with investors following the demonetisation announcement was observed. The ShopClues cofounder believes the negative effects of demonetisation will lessen in about sixty days. Read on for more.
Data (Information) is the new oil that will energize the digital era
Sachin Bansal, cofounder, Flipkart said, “Even back then when we introduced cash on delivery (CoD), we knew that cashless, digitalized payment will be the future. With the coming of artificial intelligence and machine intelligence, all digital companies even those like Facebook and Google that rely on data will have oodles more of information to rely on and leverage in their businesses. So making financial transactions digital will create a traceable trail of accurate information that will have a positive impact on all companies in the future. The data generated from a cashless economy will further allow more credit to come into the system – and customers, small and large businesses can all have more access to credit."
Abhinav Sinha, chief operating officer, OYO Rooms, said, “Because of this demonetisation move, we have started getting calls from previously uninterested hotels looking to partner with us. The inconveniences we all face, especially the travellers who only had 1000 and 500 rupee notes on the day of the announcement is only a small blip, everyone is excited about the possibilities a cashless economy will hold.
Kunal Bahl, cofounder, Snapdeal said, “I’m not saying demonetisation is a ground breaking move because it’s good for ecommerce companies but because it’s good for the entire nation. This effort is one of the first steps taken by any country to truly push financial digitalisation.
One main reason CoD has high demand is because people wanted to have the product before paying for it. We can still do that in a cashless economy. 15 percent of transactions are now wallet on delivery. Customers paying with card rarely go back to CoD. Of course since most people were forced to use cashless payment systems due to demonetisation, once there is more cash in supply the demand for digital transactions will decline from the surge the industry has experienced - but it will reach an equilibrium where more customers will possibly opt for cashless payments.”
About his reasons for acquiring FreeCharge, another ewallet company which has benefitted greatly from demonetisation said, “When we acquired FreeCharge about eighteen months ago investors were sceptical. However we always believed at the time that five to seven years down the line the cashless economy will take off. And when you believe strongly in your theory then you must act on it as soon as possible.”
Kunal further speaks about how foreign investors mean about demonetisation, here.
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