Indian Finance Minister Tells Banks to Promote Digital Banking

Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of Corporate Affairs in the Cabinet of India, has said that banks should start to promote digital banking in ‘mission mode’ to limit the use of physical currency. It is hoped that by doing so cashless transactions will increase in the country, reports The Times of India.

Only recently the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the banning of two of the country’s biggest fiat banknotes in the country. The move, according to Modi, was to tackle corruption, black money, and terrorism. It is also believed that the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was to push the Indian economy toward digital transactions.

Not only that, but an alleged report on the banning of gold in India could increase its attention to bitcoin.

When referring to the demonetization turmoil, Jaitley said that people are changing as far as their habits are concerned.

He said:

Some of the banks have already had a lot of success, contrary to the argument which is made within the political system that Indians are not well-adapted to this mode. I think political life of India has to accept that right under our nose, people are changing as far as their habits are concerned.

What Now?

In a bid to push the Indian economy forward banks will now have to increase their efforts of stepping up transactions in mission mode. This means utilizing different banking channels such as QR codes, mobile wallets, pre-paid cards, and debit and credit cards.

Jaitley said:

One of the principle single agenda for the meeting was to expand digital banking itself…objective of this meeting was to appeal to the banking system and prepare them in mission mode for expediting this entire exercise.

India Embraces Bitcoin

Of course, another alternative to the Indian population is through the digital currency, bitcoin.

With the demonetization announcement, reports have come in that bitcoin sales have increased across several exchanges in recent weeks while Internet searches in India for ‘bitcoin’ and ‘buy bitcoin’ have also increased in popularity.

Thus, demonstrating that the country is actively seeking alternative measures in the digital currency.

This can only be a good thing for bitcoin as more countries eventually turn to it.

For now, though, as the country reflects on the banning of two of its biggest notes, this could eventually turn out to be the best thing for the country.

Not only is it reducing the potential threat of terrorism and corruption through large denomination notes, but it understands the benefits that a digital banking approach can have on an economy.

Featured image from ArunJaitley.com.