e-monetisation

Get Used To A More Cashless Economy; For Your Own Good

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-Navpreet Singh

Post demonetisation announcement by PM Narendra Modi, Paytm and Freecharge were quick to cast its support with banner and full page advertisements worth lakhs of rupees. These advertisements claimed that Paytm could help the common man in coping up with the lack of hard cash availability as a result of demonetisation of Rupees 500 and Rupees 1000 currency.

Scores of retailers have adopted cashless modes of payments, including payments through mobile wallets like Paytm and Freecharge. Use of debit and credit cards is also believed to have seen an exponential increase post the demonetisation call. However, it is also true that many retailers, sellers have been badly affected due to the demonetisation move. Methods of payments, such as, Paytm and buying card swipe machines has seen a massive increase. This has been done to cater to the demand of cashless payments. COD (cash on delivery) in e-commerce has changed the prevailing scenario in a significant manner. Sudden adoption of these digital payment techniques by consumers and producers has jolted several people out of a sense of status quo.

Not everyone is digital savvy. And perhaps that is one of the reasons behind why there has been a certain amount of resistance behind the entire move towards a more cashless economy. Technology has been an uncomfortable option for many people who loved being glued to the traditional ways. Then, there are those for whom cards present a scary scenario, what with fines, surcharges, penalties, delay charges and a slew of other levies. But now that it’s all being used, security needs to be paramount as well. It’s not that cash is 100% safe – there exists forfeited currency and black money. But it’s about identifying and minimizing the risk to whatever extent possible. Once minimized, they need to constantly monitored by security firms.

Here are a few tips to remember while you change your lifestyle to a cashless one.

Do’s and Dont’s of Digital Payments

Cards, Netbanking and Cashless wallets

DOs

  • Change your pin after you get your card issued or online banking facility availed.
  • Be informed about bank’s timings while doing a transaction with netbanking.
  • In a transaction, make use of Remarks section. Mention what is the transaction for so that its easier for you to manage your funds.
  • Be sure of your payment date of credit card bill. If it exceeds, you are charged some interest fee without information. Even waiting for the last hour is risky as payments get delayed sometimes and you may have to bear the interest penalty in that case.
  • When you do an online transaction, you receive a SMS or notification. Keep a track of these. Or use apps like Walnut that manage your finances and keep track of transaction related emails or messages.
  • Use an anti-virus software for your mobile if its rooted or on insecure credentials.
  • Take help from your friends or family to understand the how’s and what’s of credit cards, ATM cards and mobile wallets. Understanding the utility and usage would keep you from any fraud due to ignorance.
  • Cardholders can set geographical limits in a way that a card can be used only in a 5-km or 25-km or even 250-km radius (the range varies up to 1,000 km). This eliminates the possibility of money being siphoned off from a distant ATM.
  • If you share your card with family members, set daily limits and restrict transactions, the card becomes safe for multiple users. Transaction frequency and amount is limited.
  • The nature of purchase can also be selected for card owner. In case you use your card for a particular type of payment only, say your regular grocer, you can set the merchant as grocer. If the card is misplaced or lost, chances of fraud decreases significantly.
  • Cardholders should use just one card for online payments and keep the spending limit on that account as low as possible. If it’s a bank card then keep ready funds to a minimum and transfer over money as you need it.

DON’Ts

  • Don’t share your pin at public computers or notes accessible by groups of people outside your private circle.
  • Don’t disclose your card details to fraudulent calls asking to upgrade your card or any other scheme.
  • Don’t have same passwords for transactions for all bank accounts. If one gets compromised, all others would go too.
  • Don’t attach your credit/debit card permanently to mobile wallets. It makes it easier for the payment to succeed with one tap. Being the house of so many apps, mobiles are vulnerable to cyber attacks and such quick breakthroughs can lose you money.
  • Don’t use digital payment platforms on public wifi. They are usually unencrypted and at a higher risk of fraud.
  • Don’t keep yourself always logged in to mobile wallet apps. If the mobile gets into wrong hands, your wallet money is in the danger of sweeping off as well. If you have to do frequent transactions in a day, stay logged in but keep an app or phone password.
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