Swipe machine, cards to soon be irrelevent

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Modern wireless POS-terminal with battery and GPRS module

BENGALURU: The sort of disruption happening in the digital payments space in India has a chance of making ATM cards and PoS (point of sale) machines redundant by 2020, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

“India is in the midst of a huge disruption in the world of both financial technology and in terms of social innovation. In my view, within the next twoand-half years, India will make all its debit cards, credit cards, ATM machines and PoS machines totally irrelevant,” he said at the 14th edition of the three-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which started in Bengaluru on Saturday .

Kant said cards will lose relevance as every Indian will transact only by using the thumb and mobile phone. The transaction would be done in just 30 seconds through Aadharenabled technology.

“Due to demonetization, there is a huge push towards digital payments.India is the only country in the world with a billion mobile connections and a billion biometrics,” he added.
On demonetization, Kant said that it was necessary with more than 85% of transactions in cash, and only a few paying taxes in a country with a population of more than 1billion.
Stressing the need for digital transactions and creation of a formal economy, he said, “It is impossible for India to become a $10 trillion economy when $2 trillion is a formal economy and the rest is an informal black economy . But through the adoption of digital payment, we can grow per capita income to about $4,000 from $1,532 currently, by 2032.”
He explained that India’s startup challenges are different from those of the rest of the world as it has to address problems of providing chlorine-free drinking water, turning the country sewage-free and helping in agriculture to improve productivity .
“The challenges are not in using drone technology or driverless cars, because these are trivial problems the western countries can afford to address. It is about finding solutions for 1billion people.”