Phygital Banks: RBI says leave cash go digital
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all commercial banks to provide the facility of withdrawing money without debit or credit cards at ATMs.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all commercial banks to provide the facility of withdrawing money without debit or credit cards at ATMs. State Bank of India (SBI) is already giving this facility through its YONO app. RBI says that the absence of a card will reduce the incidents of fraud like card cloning and device tampering. In the new system, customers will be able to withdraw money using the UPI PIN. Banks will not be able to charge ATM fees for this service. This will be a great facility for all citizens and it will not be necessary to carry the cards with you. The trend of digital banking is increasing in India. More than 20 crore Indians are currently taking advantage of digital banking. RBI wants to increase the number. A large section of society has not yet gone digital. In order to make the benefits of digital banking services accessible to all, RBI has asked banks to open digital banking units. The Indian Banking Association says that digital banking units will start in 75 districts of the country in July.
In the digital banking units, all the work you do with internet banking i.e. net banking could be done. There will be no cash transaction here. Excluding cash transactions, these branches will deal in all other services like savings accounts, current accounts, FD, RD, internet banking, debit card, credit card, bank loan, BHIM QR codes, etc. Digital banking units will be opened even in the towns. Commercial banks had already given the option of net banking, but now they will be running digital bank units, called Phygital, blending digital experiences with physical ones. By visiting these physital units, you will be able to understand your digital banking needs and also get help from the bank. Cashless payments have already been encouraged by UPI (Unified Payments Interface), which is making digital payments popular. In retail digital payments, the share of UPI has more than doubled in the last four years. In the financial year 2020-21, the share of UPI in digital payments made at shops and business establishments was 28 percent, which has increased to 42 percent this year i.e. 2021-22.
Meanwhile, the digital rupee is also making news. It will be like a banknote, except it will not require any ATM. Its users will be able to transact in the form of tokens online from their savings accounts through smartphone wallets. The Reserve Bank of India will guarantee a digital rupee. Since the central bank is directly involved in this project, people will not be at risk of any loss like it had been done in the case of commercial banks. In the last few years, customers were barred from withdrawing their money from 21 banks due to their own banking malpractices. However, the digital rupee also has some risks. Imagine if the digital rupee becomes more popular then banks will find it challenging to maintain small accounts because everyone can switch to electronic cash. Finance experts believe that there is no special need for a digital rupee in India right now, as there is enough cash in the country.
(The writer is a senior journalist & columnist)