The Banking and Finance Post, November 9, 2016
India is on the verge of becoming a digital nation and we are ensuring the same by converting cash into digital money both at the rural and urban level says Ravi Singh, Chief Business Officer, ItzCash in an exclusive conversation with Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).
Give an overview of ItzCash as a holistic payments solutions company.
We are a payment company and our focus has been on converting cash into digital money. We focus on two sections of society, the technology savvy and digitally unsound. Those who are digitally sound can pay bills, recharge their phone numbers, buy rail tickets and can make a lot payments using our services. On the other hand, we focus on digitally unsound populace through our network of about 75,000 franchise spread across 60,000 cities.
- Remittance business: We are the largest partner of MPCI in terms of Master production scheduling (MPS) transactions generated.
- Travel: We are one of the largest partners of IRCTC in terms of ticket bookings.
- Cash Management: We have cash management solutions. This is our third largest vertical business.
- Bill Payment
How you are empowering the unbanked and under-banked segments in India?
I believe that our country is doing a commendable job in terms of incorporating financial inclusion. Through our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, many people have opened their bank accounts. Earlier whenever there was a discussion on financial inclusion, only Rural India was talked about. But now urban India is also included in the topic. This is because many people residing in urban areas also fail to take up digital decisions. This is the reason why we focus both on urban and rural India.
Do you think cashless economy is possible in rural India just like urban India? Why it is needed at the outset?
I believe financial inclusion is a part of both urban and rural India now because digitisation is a necessity for all. We focus on wallets that help the digitally sound people and to help the digitally unsound populace we have our various franchises. These franchises help the digitally excluded people in booking tickets, recharging phone numbers, paying bills and etc. by using our services.
We all know that digital India is our dream but in reality despite having mobile majority of our populace fail to work on internet. We focus more on this section of the society. The major challenge that we face is making people use our services. This is the reason why we have several franchises. We make the financially excluded section understand the safety and convenience of using digital money. We are working with a lot of e commerce companies. E commerce companies like flipkart lack physical infrastructure which we have. So, people in rural areas can walk into our franchise stores and by paying cash they can actually do online shopping.
How would you define the challenges in ensuring this to happen?
Telephone infrastructure is the biggest challenge that we face. Internet connectivity which occurs as the major concern that often hinders our services.
Second challenge that we face is banking penetration. We get cash payments from rural areas and we cannot hold this cash for too long. But since the number of banks available in the rural areas is still very low,we face problems. Infrastructural challenges are the bothering us the most.