By: Nirupam Manik, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 15:10
This can be entirely attributed to recent demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes which forced people to shift to digital payment methods while the country makes the transit.
As per the latest research by the Electronics and IT Ministry, more than 70 percent people residing in rural areas of India have adopted e-wallets as a payment method. Further, about 16 percent of rural citizens have surprisingly adopted UPI (Unified Payment Interface). Well, this can be entirely attributed to recent demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes which forced people to shift to digital payment methods while the country makes the transit.
The Ministry said in a statement - "An overview of the current data available with the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) shows that more than 70 percent rural citizens have adopted the methods of e-wallets, 16 percent opted for Unified Payment Interface (UPI),"
On the other hand, more than 85 percent of merchants have moved on to e-wallets for receiving payments whereas about 13 percent have gone for UPI, the statement further added. To be precise, Over 55,000 merchants have started offering digital payment options to rural customers across various districts and blocks in India," - the statement revealed.
Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT said - "The speed and scale at which digital transformation in taking place in India is paving the way for a digitally empowered, participative and inclusive society,"
Further boasting about its efforts, Ministry claimed that under its Digital Payments awareness and training programme, Common Service Centre (CSC) network has enrolled over 25 lakh rural citizens for digital payments. Common Service Centre is an agency under Government of India which provides government service in rural areas. Laying out the plans for the future, the DigiDhan Abhiyan targets over 1 crore rural citizens for adopting Digital Payment methods. It plans to do so by setting up about 2 lakh CSC in rural and semi-urban areas.
Earlier this week on Monday, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a statement recommending a reasonable amount of free mobile internet to be provided to rural subscribers every month. The cost to provide this benefit will be balanced from government's Universal Service Obligatory Fund (USOF) and the service would be further eased out by some third-party telecom service providers.