Are digital wallets replacing cash?

How ironic is it that even the local ‘bujia wala’ now have a scanner and says ‘Bhaya scanner se send karo paise!’ (Send the money through the scanner).


The last few years have seen a significant surge in the use of digital wallets and scanners to make payments. Not only do these wallets allow you to make payments across vendors, but even your personal contacts.


At a time when you’d have to wait for your parents to deposit money into your account via bank, now a simple few taps on these digital payments get the job done.


But even though these digital wallets provide a lot of conveniences, are they meant to stay and practically replace cash altogether? To understand that, we have to understand a simple thing – convenience.


Let’s say you are at a local shop and you want to buy a pack of cookies. Now maybe you forgot your wallet and don’t have cash. Rather than running to an ATM every time, it’d make a lot of sense to transfer this money directly to the bank account of the shopkeeper.


That’s where digital wallets come in.


Digital wallets allow you to directly send money to an account whether you as well as the receiver have an account in the same bank or not.


But don’t mistake these wallets for net banking. See net banking is a feature every bank provides. But when people realized that you have to log in with a username and password each time, write down an account number, and go through a hectic process just to send some amount of money, most people refrained from using it.


Rather than a daunting process, people simply use wallets that just require the receiver’s phone number to send money. Be it ₹10 or ₹10000, digital wallets like GPay and PhonePe have been making life really simple for people.


More transactions are also helpful to a bank. The more transactions happen, the better their network will grow. That’s why banks like HDFC have their own digital wallets just to make it easier for people to send/receive money through digital wallets.


Seemingly, it doesn’t seem like digital wallets are going anywhere. In fact, the concept of ‘less cash and more digital’ seems like a possibility down the line, and we’re all here for it.

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