Cashless payments
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Did you know? In India, 88% of the aggregate number, and 94% of the total value of debit-card transactions is limited to cash withdrawals at ATMs (March 2016 Report by the Reserve Bank of India)

This huge percentile reflects that cash is still a predominant mode of financial transactions in India, despite the continuing growth of credit and debit cards and point-of-sale or PoS-based operations in the country. 

While the dominance of cash is undeniable, rapid growth of smartphones provides a viable alternative for executing financial transactions in the country. An increasing number of Indian consumers are adopting various forms of cashless payment options such as digital phone wallets that enable them to use their smartphones to make payments.

Are Cashless Transactions Through Your Smartphone an Empty Promise or A Real Possibility?

As an alternative to providing credit and debit cards, leading banks and financial institutions are working towards offering their customers the means to make internet-enabled payments from their smartphones. The growing number of smartphone users, and the convenience and capabilities that these phones offer has primarily driven this shift.

According to a global study conducted by the Pew Research Center, in the U.S., smartphones will replace cash and credit cards as the preferred mode of payment by the year 2020. So, can your smartphone wallet replace your credit or debit card in India? Global trends indeed suggest so! 

Phone Wallets – The Indian Perspective 

With the objective of a "less-cash" economy in India, the RBI has published a report "Payments and Settlement Systems in India: Vision 2018”, which provides support for developing the best payment and settlement systems. RBI is also working on a plan to boost the use of electronic payments in the country. To promote cashless transactions among small merchants in India, the central bank has revised the limit for prepaid payment instruments (or PPIs) to INR 10,000 from INR 20,000.

Another initiative to boost cashless transactions in India is the development of the Unified Payments Interface (or UPI) by the National Payments Corporation of India. UPI is a single smartphone app that can integrate multiple bank accounts (of different banks) into a single mobile application to carry out financial transactions.

A mobile wallet is a smartphone app that allows you to store your payment cards (credit and debit) information on your smartphone, which can then be used to make a variety of digital transactions. The rapid growth of mobile wallets (also referred to as m-wallets or phone wallets) is a clear indication of India's gradual transformation from a cash-based economy towards a cashless (or less cash) society.

The Benefits of a Smartphone Wallet

A smartphone wallet offers more benefits as compared to your credit or debit card:

  • Your smartphone wallet can eliminate the need to carry additional credit or debit plastic cards
  • There is less chance of fraudsters making transactions using the smartphone wallet
  • It can be used to consolidate all payment-related services in one device, instead of owning and carrying multiple plastic cards
  • Easy and convenient for daily transactions, as most users always take their smartphones with them
  • Adding money to your mobile wallet, using net-banking facilities or through credit or debit card is not complicated
  • Better control over your purchases through a single medium, instead of using multiple payment cards
  • Mobile wallet offers a host of consumer benefits including product discount, reward points, cash-backs, and loyalty vouchers

How Kotak 811 is enabling a cashless society

We all know how tedious the process to open a bank account is, but what if you now know that you can set up a new account with Kotak Mahindra Bank in mere minutes? Kotak 811 has made this concept a reality for the tech-savvy people of the country. With PAN, Aadhar, and a few other important documents, you can easily set up an account, by just downloading the mobile banking app. The two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security while you set up your brand-new account in minutes!

 Kotak’s 811 smartphone app has revolutionised the digital payments system. The bank has managed to fathom the needs of India’s digital-enabled economy and has launched a virtual debit card in this mobile banking application, along with benefits such as zero account balance and UPI support. The virtual card can be used for making payment transactions across the country without having to keep a physical card in your pocket.

Kotak 811’s scan-and-pay feature eliminates the need for you to carry cash or plastic cards to make a purchase. With this, customers now have an option to carry out online payments even though the feature can be availed only at select stores and merchants who support such transactions.


Even with the current dominance of cash in the Indian economy, cashless transactions using mobile wallets are seeing gradual growth, particularly among the Indian youth and working professionals. The increasing adoption and use of smartphones will work well for the growth of cashless payment options in India. The Indian government is also stepping up its drive to enable a cashless (or a less-cash) society to solve cash-related problems such as corruption and black money.

As the emerging population of the country is moving ahead to integrate more tech-savvy ways to carry out financial transactions, the concept of brick and mortar methods of banking will cease to exist. Banks must catch up with this pace of technology and find ways to innovate alongside the needs of their customers and provide a seamless digital banking experience. The Kotak 811 app provides the right platform for smartphone users to make this transition with innovative features such as scan-and-pay and virtual debit card. Kotak 811 account has been a significant step towards enabling an innovative and efficient digital-banking process for a more customer-centric experience.


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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.