E-WALLETS – NOT JINGLING ALL THE WAY

Nandita ShyamSundar

As the holiday season is around the corner, shopping for gifts for our mothers, bosses and Chris Children among others, is in full swing. The e-commerce revolution has brought a wide range of products to our fingertips (literally!). And demonetization has increased the workload of our fingertips by making us click to pay. Cash-back offers and reward points are added incentives to use plastic money and e-wallets. Yet, quite a few of us still struggle with giving/receiving the right amount of change in day-to-day situations. This article is an attempt to explore some of the elements that cause friction on the path of progression for e-wallets, and possible solutions to address these issues.

Illiteracy

Many people do not know how to use PayTM, MobiKwik, and other e-wallets, and hence do not use them. Conducting workshops and setting up telephonic assistance for set-up/installation and routine use can increase their usage. Increasing the number of languages in which the services are available can also make consumers feel more comfortable.

Security

Even those who do know to use e-wallets are apprehensive since security breaches aren’t a rarity. Fraudsters are always prowling and people see avoiding the situation altogether as a way to mitigate the risk. A well-known media company recently reported that “Paytm has made headlines for showing its weakest side of security compliance”. Are we willing to take a chance with our hard earned money?

Culture

A taboo on the unknown is not a recent phenomenon. People are apprehensive about trying something new, especially when it involves putting their money in a virtual location.

Regulation

Inadequate regulation can make the buyer beware even more. Integrating technical aspects and creating/amending laws to protect the interests of different types of customers can make the industry more reliable.

Redressal

If customers are to understand and accept that technical glitches are always a possibility, a mechanism to ensure that their genuine concerns are addressed quickly and satisfactorily must also be in place. Unresponsive staff and irresponsible answers are bound to ward off users.

In essence, the e-wallet industry is still half-baked. Promotions and advertisements alone will not encourage usage. The shortcomings have to be addressed by the government as well as companies, if they wish to see a truly cashless economy.

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