Eighty per cent of bills in the country are still paid at the biller’s office,90 per cent of which are paid in cash,says a MasterCard survey.
According to the MasterCard study,how someone pays their bills matters a lot as this can be used as a tool towards having access to various financial products and services also known as financial inclusion.
With 50 per cent of world adult population still financially unserved,financial inclusion is seen as a key path to alleviating poverty by both developed and developing countries across the globe.
Introduction of non-cash methods of financial transaction can bring a lot of people to the financial mainstream,MasterCard said.
“At MasterCard,our vision is to work towards greater financial inclusion and ultimately,a world beyond cash,where consumers and small businesses alike can benefit from simpler payment options using smart technology,” MasterCard Worldwide Division President,South Asia,T V Seshadri said.
According to MasterCard,only half the population in India has bank accounts,making financial inclusion an important priority.
Eighty per cent of bills in India are paid at the biller’s office,90 per cent of these with cash,roughly 15 per cent of bills are paid online either through online banking or biller website,an option which is primarily available for the banked population.
While the primary alternative for the unbanked population is walk-in payment at a retail outlet using cash,but currently this accounts for less than 5 per cent of the bill payment volume.
“Making bill payment electronic has the potential to create a value proposition for all stakeholders and drive financial inclusion,an important first step for initiating financial inclusion on a large scale,” the survey said.
According to the study,there are three aspects of the scale of bill payment that make it particularly well suited for driving financial inclusion.
Firstly,high penetration,as in order to maintain basic survival requirements such as electricity,water and cell phone nearly every household in the world has to make bill payments.
Secondly,recurrence,as bill payment is not a one-and-done phenomenon each person has to regularly pay bills and thirdly,the sheer size,bill payment is a large enough segment for stakeholders to focus on. Globally,there are billions of consumer bill payment transactions,the survey said.