India has seen significant growth in the use of digital payments over the past few years. However, there is still a significant portion of the population that is not using digital payments for day-to-day transactions. In an effort to bridge this gap, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das launched a mission called “Har Payment Digital” with the aim of making every citizen in the country a user of digital payments. According to an RBI survey, 42% of 90,000 respondents said that they had used digital payments, 35% said they were non-users though aware of digital payments, while 23% weren’t aware of digital payments.
These numbers indicate that there is still a need to create more awareness and further increase the usage of digital payments. To address this, the RBI has been observing a targeted campaign – Digital Payments Awareness Week (DPAW) – every year as part of its continuous efforts towards increasing financial awareness. The theme of this year’s awareness week is “Adopt digital payments and Teach others also”. The central bank, in collaboration with banks and other stakeholders of the payment systems, will carry out a multimodal campaign covering print, television, radio and social media during the week.
The “Har Payment Digital” (HPD) mission will run till the period of Vision 2025, with an intention to convert the non-users into users of digital payments. Vision 2025 has its theme as “E-Payments for Everyone, Everywhere and Everytime”. Through the campaign, the users of digital payments will be encouraged to teach non-users about the ease, safety, and convenience of digital payments. RBI has planned various campaigns that will be undertaken to deepen the reach of digital payments in the country.
Among various other things, RBI regional offices will conduct “Jan Bhagidari” or mass scale people involvement programmes to enhance awareness on a large scale about the mission and the theme of the campaign and to encourage adoption of digital payments in the process. Further, payment system operators will adopt 75 villages across the country to convert them into digital payment-enabled villages. These villages would be distinct from those in the districts covered under the Digital Banking Units (DBUs); Expanding and Deepening of Digital Payments Ecosystem (EDDPE); and the Aspirational Districts Programme. The central bank also intends to partner with appropriate agencies to reach out to villages across the country to propagate the campaign theme message “Digital Payment Apnao, Auron ko Bhi Sikhao” by sharing videos and teaching villagers about the ease, safety, convenience and usage of digital payments. The benefits of digital payments are numerous. They are fast, convenient, and secure.
They eliminate the need for cash transactions, which can be time-consuming and unsafe. Digital payments also allow for easy tracking of transactions and provide an opportunity for financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked population. However, there are still barriers to the adoption of digital payments. Some people may not have access to the internet or smartphones, while others may not be comfortable with technology. Additionally, some people may still prefer cash transactions due to cultural or traditional reasons.
To overcome these barriers, the RBI and other stakeholders must work together to create more awareness and educate people about the benefits of digital payments. This can be done through various campaigns, as well as through partnerships with appropriate agencies to reach out to villages and remote areas. In conclusion, the “Har Payment Digital” mission is a step in the right direction towards increasing the adoption of digital payments in India. By creating more awareness and educating people about the benefits of digital payments, we can bridge the gap and ensure that every citizen in the country is a user of digital payments.