India has been in a digital revolution.
But many of its citizens are opting for online payments, even as they remain sceptical about the ability of online payments to compete with physical cash.
On the other hand, the likes of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, have been vocal about his desire to create an e-commerce and digital infrastructure in the country, but for many, digital payments are a distant dream.
The numbers of Indians who use online payment platforms has increased from 1.7 billion in the first half of 2019 to 1.75 billion in January 2019, according to data from global payments company VeriSign.
The increase was driven by the expansion of e-payments by e-wallet providers like Paytm, a Mumbai-based company that is valued at about $US15 billion.
However, it is not just India that is adopting digital payments.
In a bid to boost employment, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new ‘Make in India’ initiative last year, which aims to create jobs in India’s manufacturing sector, the prime minister said last week.
This initiative aims to attract talent and attract investments to create manufacturing jobs in the nation.
But according to a report from Mint, many in India are sceptical of the promise of these jobs.
The report noted that the jobs of those who do manage to get them have been less than promising.
It added that in the case of manufacturing jobs, the employment is often only temporary and the majority of people in these jobs are employed as labourers, while in the online economy, people are employed through digital platforms like Paypal and Stripe.
India’s economic growth slowed to 7.7% in the year ended March, the second lowest rate in the world after South Korea, according the World Bank.
The government has been struggling to revive its economy, and a large number of jobs in manufacturing and services have been lost.
“While there is a sense of uncertainty in the marketplace, the government is hoping that the ‘Make India’ programme will bring jobs back and that this will make people more comfortable to use online payments,” an analyst from Morgan Stanley told Mint.