As the bubble of euphoria post demonetization burst and the melee dies, hard facts paint an entirely different scenario on mobile wallet transactions. Though the volume of transaction increased marginally from 10 crores in October to 13.8 crores, value wise it showed a decline and stood at Rs. 3300 crores as compared to Rs. 3380 crores the previous month.
Post demonetization, digital payment was the talk of the day. However as per figures released by RBI, the data for the month of November did not show any phenomenal growth and in fact, in many locations have registered as a drop as compared to previous month figures.
Mobile wallets include Paytm, Mobikwik, and Freecharge among other payment companies. The same trend was evident in prepaid card transactions. Though the volume of transaction increased by 13% and stood at three crores as compared to 2.7 crores in the previous month, the value of these transactions fell to Rs. 1440 crores from Rs. 2430 crores in the previous month.
Industry sources, however, say that there has been a phenomenal growth in both volume and value in the e-wallet segment since the demonetization drive by PM Narendra Modi. However, data from the regulator shows an entirely different picture. In the same way, IMPS or the Immediate Payment Service also shows a steep fall of 14% and stood at 3.6 crores from 4.2 crores in the preceding month. Value wise also the transactions showed a sharp decline and stood at Rs. 32,480 crores against Rs. 34,350 crores in the previous month.
De-monetization has been tried in Europe also, but the result has been different from India. It is because digitization was very high in Europe, people are more honest, and the tax base is much larger. There is greater penetration of banks and credit card. The scene is much different in India where digitization has just started and what the nation is experiencing are the labor pains of the birth of a new and cashless economic structure. It needs to be seen if PM Narendra Modi’s master stroke turns out to be his nemesis or strongest point.