Post demonetisation, cash-based transactions worth Rs 25,000 crore have moved to the digital mode, according to a survey carried out by The Economic Research Department of State Bank of India.
The survey was carried out from December 30, 2016 to January 3, 2017 so as to understand the nuances of demonetisation. It showed that 15 per cent of transactions moved to electronic payments such as m-wallets and Point of Sale machines.
“This means that Rs 25,000 crore of cash based transactions have moved to digital in the last two months. If this is so, this is a good beginning,” SBI Research said in its Ecowrap report.
This number could have been even higher because the behavioural shift has not happened yet and many merchants still prefer cash transactions when the amount is not large, the survey said, adding that a number of merchants are facing connectivity issue at POS machines.
It further noted that around 69 per cent of the respondents affirmed that their businesses were impacted and the overall decline in business is less than 50 per cent for the majority of the businesses that were impacted.
The construction sector and the informal road-side vendors seem to be the most hit with 55 per cent and 71 per cent respondents saying that the business got reduced by more than 50 per cent.
In order to boost digital payments, the government should take onboard new merchants, particularly small and marginal traders, grocery shops and the like on digital platform by a more targeted approach, the report said.
“We also suggest that RBI should enhance the mobile wallet user limits further to shift more of the cash transactions to digital wallets. This may be done in steps with enabling IT infrastructure in place,” it added.