Cashless economy with caution

News Bharati English    12-Feb-2017   

We heard a roar of applause and criticism over the present budget! Yes, it’s the first budget in the time of financial uncertainties and the industrial downturn. Every citizen has been haunted by the dreadful spectre of demonetization.  More so, when the central Government goes all out to push the idea of cashless economy.

All glory to the visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this revolutionary step. He knows very well to make much of the modern gadgets. Not just that, he easily makes peace with the unpredictable challenges too.   

Well, E-wallet, NFT, UPI, IMPS, VPA, Bhim, Digi Dhan, being the new vocabularies, are going to hog the major business operation from now on. No denying, even the literate is awfully confused as to how all these e-transactions work and in what way they facilitate in becoming cashless.

Another worrying factor is how reliable all these digital transactions are. Many have long been voicing their concerns as to their safety and security features. Needless to say, many ill-fated people have been left in the lurch since their e-transferred money did not get credited to the 2nd parties’ accounts. Just recently, even my own transaction in favor of BSNL through Paytm did not get through.

With regard to the credit card many have sad tales to tell. I personally had a number of hot exchanges with HDFC bank representatives. It was because the bank had reimbursed only small amount from the integrated source account by leaving the bigger expenditure-amount as “loan” against which I had to pay interest every month. 

Such instance usually escapes the attention of the most of the customers and the bank keeps collecting the interest in spite of having the “sufficient balance” in the main account. This is due to the default system setup by most of the bankers. So, it takes the alertness of the expert who can himself change the option from "minimum auto-pay" to "full-auto-pay".

Thus, for the lay person it’s not always delightful to go on the online shopping spree through the Credit card. Another monstrous threat is the cyber scam. This has made the e-transaction frighteningly vulnerable. The mobile user must know a series of dos and don'ts about the privacy and security features.

So, finally, one feels, before trumpeting the “cashless” exercise -- which is mostly done through mobile phones, the government should ward off all the cyber scammers and also warn the bankers from adopting the hidden tricks to steal the customer's money.

These days, robbers don’t come with pistols and guns to rob our wealth. They now have hi-tech virtual avatars.  They attack and plunder us with help of phishing emails, desktop pop-ups, and intrusive malwares and so on. Now decide judiciously which is better – pocket ATM or paytm?