The world today has taken giant strides into the future age and we find ourselves face to face with a ‘restless, nervous, bustling and trivial’ 21st century. It is easy to confuse money with wealth these days. In such an impetuous stage of our lives, let us drift towards the welcome change called ‘plastic money’.
The recent times have championed the vision of a cashless society. Since the demonetisation episode, any currency that is not paper has become popular. That includes plastic money, e-wallets and net banking. Plastic money comprises of credit and debit cards, and other premium payment cards that do not need you to carry around cash. Jio Money, MobiKwik, Paytm are examples of prepaid payment instruments which are in common use as of today. No more fear of getting your pockets picked; in case of stolen cards, all you have to do is notify your nearest branch and have it blocked instantly. Another complication that can be worked out with the help of ‘paperless’ currency is the defacing of notes with obscene writing.
The possibility of online transactions has led to a huge rise in e-commerce for sites. Online shopping, bookings, cancellations and transfer of funds have made it easier to run an e-business. The user can accomplish all errands without moving an inch from his or her computer screen. The process saves valuable time but is not limited by the hours of the day. Another reason why the number of online transactions has been on the rise is the secure medium of payment. Banking sites use ‘https’, a secured version of ‘http’ to complete all monetary settlements. Further protection is guaranteed through one time passwords and immediate notification on the event of money credited or debited.
Digital transactions show more transparency and are more accountable in nature. The initiative has helped in reducing incidents of money laundering and decreased cases of dealings with black money. Another example where cashless transaction has proved to be fruitful is in exposing occasions of tax evasion.
Although there have been instances of credit card fraud and identity theft, the authorities have been able to curb these problems and arrest such misuse of information. One cautionary step to follow is to never allow the website to save passwords and account details.
For the larger section of Indians to be able to arrive at this stage, there is still a long way to go. The infrastructure required for electronic payments needs to be set up, all bank accounts should be well connected and operational and most importantly, bracketed properly. Hopefully, everybody will be eager to do their part. Like the French philosopher Voltaire said, “When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”