Digital Payment Transactions to get costlier in India

A high level discussion by Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government wishes to impose a ‘security fee’ or cess on each Digital payment in India. This could make digital transactions expensive thus barring the earlier initiative of Digital India Program. This program targeted towards a cashless society and wishes to achieve 25 billion transactions within the end of this financial year.

Digital Security Cess

According to a media report , the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under the Ministry of Finance, has suggested to impose a token ‘security fee’ on each digital payment in India. This ‘security fee’ or cess could be used to create better infrastructure for secure digital transactions, the meeting was told.

“The problem is not that there is no money to solve these security issues. Who implements these security transaction issues? It will be the transaction providers, the PPIs, banks, MasterCard, Paytm. They’re not saying that they don’t have money to do that. Some of the issues are all digital transactions are heading towards mobile and we’re going down this pyramid of lower literacy users who are not aware of security issues and services. The biggest problem so far has been someone calling you up and saying I need to verify who you are and I’m going to send you a code and you give it to me,” Prasanto K Roy, VP and head of Nasscom Internet Council, told Business Standard.

Growth of Digital Payment infrastructure in India

At present, the users pay various charges for digital transactions including but not limited to convenience fees, transaction charges, annual or joining fee as well as merchant fees. Whenever a debit or credit card is swiped, the merchant pays certain fee to card issuing or acquiring bank and payment network providers like Visa, MasterCard and RuPay. Such charges may deter users from performing digital transaction and instead opt for cash payments.

Lower transaction charges across all the payment solutions such as UPI (Unified Payment Interface), BHIM etc. combined with the government educating the common public on benefits of Digital transactions and encouragement to use them can only make “Digital India” Dream come true.

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