Goa Inching Towards to be the First Cashless Society in India!

Turning cash-driven economy into cashless one is kind of a mammoth task. Government’s demonetization drive to curb black money has forced people to look at cashless payment options. National Payments Corporation of India’s CEO has recently pointed out that digital payment transactions are up by as much as 100 percent since November 8. Now, Goa has taken the initiative to increase its cashless component percentage by five to ten percent before December 30.

Government officials are already working towards making all the necessary arrangements.  Soon, people in Goa would be able to make purchases using their mobile phones, at the press of a button. May it be vegetables, meat, fish or anything else; people would be able to buy every item with the help of USSD based payment system and unified payment interference (UPI).

The government plans to use USSD based payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The mobile banking system works in partnership between telecom service providers and banks. All that the vendor and customers have to do is dial *99# and follow simple instructions.  This system is specially designed to help small vendors who do not use card swiping machines, smartphones, and are not tech savvy.

Goa’s Chief Secretary-R K Srivastava interacted with journalists and shared details about the new mission that his state has undertaken. While sharing information, he pointed out that Goa’s population is around 15 lakh and the state has 22 lakh bank accounts. Plus, there are overall 17 lakh mobile phones in the state. Most of the people already prefer using credit and debit cards for transactions. Thus, going cashless slowly would be easy, and people will support the same.

Government machinery and banks are all set to create awareness about digital payment systems. Special training sessions will be held to train the public, small shop owners, and vendors from Monday in the state.  They will also receive guidance as far as registering mobile number is concerned.  Those with a simple phone can opt for mobile banking, and people with smartphones can go for UPI app to make transactions.

“We cannot be 100 percent cashless society immediately, but Goa is willing to increase cashless component by five to ten percent before December 30.  Goa will prove to be a model for cashless society that PM Modi wishes to create.  Goa can achieve this sooner,”-said Union Minister Manohar Parrikar while interacting with journalists on Sunday.  The former chief minister of Goa also held meetings with officials from private and nationalized banks to discuss how the state can implement the cashless scheme.

Shops and traders will continue accepting debit and cards as well. State’s Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has assured the public that no fees will be charged for digital payment transactions and there will be no limit as far as such transfer of payment is concerned.

Assam is all set to follow Goa in its mission to develop cashless society

In what can be termed as a remarkable move, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal conducted a meeting on Saturday with state government officials, BSNL officers, and representatives from banks as well as the RBI to promote digital payment in the state. He urged IT department, banks and BSNL’s officials to focus on digital connectivity in remote areas of the state.

Assam’s CM aims to make state government’s payments and receipts digital. He has asked state’s officials to conduct sensitization drives about benefits of digital payment in rural as well as urban areas.

By: Nitten Gokhaley