Amid the big push being given to digital transactions post-demonetisation, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Saturday said cards, ATMs and POS machines would become redundant in the country by 2020.

“….India is in the midst of huge disruption in the world of both financial technology and in terms of social innovation (there is) huge innovation, and this disruption will enable India to leapfrog…,” he said.

“…and by 2020 my view is that in the next two-and-a-half years, India will make all its debit cards, credit cards, all ATM machines, all POS machines totally irrelevant,” Kant told a session at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017, a three-day mega event of Indian diaspora.

Kant said they would become redundant in India because “every Indian will be doing his transaction just by using his thumb in 30 seconds”.

Speaking at a session on ‘Startups and innovations which have social impact in India’, he said India has created a back end in terms of biometric which will enable the country, referring to the recently launched BHIM app and Aadhar enabled payment system initiatives.

Pointing out that India is the only country with a billion mobile and billion biometric, Kant also noted that India is largely a cash driven economy.

He said whatever the biggest attempts of demonetisation and push for digital payment, only 2 to 2.5% of Indians pay taxes, so India needs to move from a non-formal to a formal economy.

“It is impossible for India to become a 10 trillion economy like this….two trillion dollar is a formal economy and another one trillion dollar is an informal black economy. It is not possible for India to grow. So you need convert the non-formal economy to a formal economy, that’s what the effort is,” he added.

Noting that ability of people living in rural areas to utilise technology to leapfrog is much quicker and faster than literate people living in urban areas, Kant said in social innovation and financial technology it was young Indians who were disrupting the world.

Noting that India is growing at about 7.6% per annum, Kant said it is an oasis of growth in the midst of a “very very barren economic landscape” across the world and the challenge for the country was to grow at even higher rates of 9 or 10% for a period of three decades or more.

Listing out various reforms agenda and ease of doing business initiatives taken up by the government and country’s FDI growth, Kant also stressed on the huge emphasis for the startup movement which helps in job creation and addresses challenges faced by country by finding solutions.


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