In Brief: Shunya One Ep 15

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Abhijeet Ramesh, Senior Director, Digital Solutions at Visa Inc. has been associated with Visa since 2007. He joined hosts Shiladitya and Amit to talk about the payment trends, payment frauds, security, the equation with banks and card-holders and how Visa is placed as a fin-tech network.  Speaking of trends, Abhijeet said:

Plastic is going to start becoming less relevant, and it will exist in virtual forms on devices. The other big trend we are seeing is that pretty much everyone who is any one is now interested in payments. So phone manufacturers like Apple, Samsung or Lg to large technology players like google, to large e-com giants like Amazon. Everyone is out there to building out a pay of their own - an amazon pay, a samsung pay, an android pay.

Shiladitya inquired about the lag in adoption rate with payments, as compared to the western countries considering, ‘cash is king,’ in India. To which Abhijeet replied:

So payments is what we call a two sided business : there is what’s happening on the merchant’s side and the consumer side. So what’s happening on the consumer’s side? - India has the largest basis of cards. We have about 900 million cards. There about if you look at the latest RBI report across all networks but 850 million of those debit and about 50 million are credit.
A majority of the 850 million nearly 90% and before demonitization happened a higher number than that is well were never used or used to withdraw cash from the ATM to pay your merchant. There were two reasons for that: one, is the larger issue of awareness. A country our size both in terms of number of people and the geographic spread and sort of how deep in terms of tier I, tier II, tier III, tier IV; you need to go to create awareness. It is not easy. You need to drive behvaiour change which is not easy. Not just in payments, it is true for pretty much everything, It is going to cost money, it is going to take a lot of time. That’s the first thing. It is very inherent, it is very structural. The other thing is that, for the few people who are willing to use cards, there isn’t enough opportunity to use their card for payment which basically goes back to - there aren’t enough merchants accepting it.

Listen to the full episode here: