Local Goa News

Monday, November 28, 2016

Switchover to cashless economy will be slow: banks

PANAJI: There has been a spurt in net banking, online transfer of funds and sale of swipe machines after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.  But bankers have opined that a ‘cashless economy’ as foreseen by the government will take its time.
Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, several bank officials said the move towards cashless economy can only be a “gradual process” and cannot happen “overnight”.

It will take many years, felt some bankers while others declined to give a timeframe.
“People are just getting used to net banking and persuading them to go in for more advanced mode of payments will take some time,”  a  bank manager said.
A senior source in banking circles divulged that a majority of customers conduct transactions by being physically present in the branch office. The percentage of customers doing net banking varies between 25-30 per cent for large banks and for smaller nationalised banks it is as low as two-three per cent. Usage of mobile apps among accountholders is miniscule.
“The trend in net banking, NEFT and RTGS has  improved, but mobile apps launched by banks have a long way off to become  popular, he admitted. Most of the mobile apps in the market like SBI ‘Buddy’, Bank of Maharashtra ‘Maha Mobile’, Bank of India’s ‘Star Connect’  have been launched recently. The apps are Android based and can work only on smart phones. Accountholders have various concerns over the apps and therefore use them less often.
Goa aspires to become a cashless economy by December 31 2016 to get around the cash crunch after the demonetisation  of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. To achieve  the goal, State Bank of India held a meeting on November 27.
Banks have been told to hold camps in vegetable markets in Panaji, Margao, Mapusa, Vasco and Ponda from Tuesday onwards. Efforts will be made to convince vegetable and fruit vendors to use mobile apps to make payments.
The bank officials said that they have witnessed a substantial surge in purchase of mobile-point-of-sale machines from retailers, hoteliers and traders over the last 20 days.
On November 26 it was announced that Goa will be the first state to move towards a cashless society. Cash transactions will not be banned but the government will push hard for the adoption of digital modes of payment across the state, from large transactions to ones involving small vendors.

NT Network Goa News

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