NDTV, Mastercard launch campaign to mobilise cashless transactions

MUMBAI: Keeping in sync with the government vision of cashless India, NDTV and Mastercard have joined hands to launch a movement called ‘Cashless Bano India’.

The campaign aims at accelerating the adoption of digital forms of payments through an on-ground and TV campaign. It will educate the masses about digital payment solutions and encourage its usage for everyday spends.

The campaign will work with partners in driving behavioural change and spread awareness about the importance of digital payments to millions across the country.

The campaign was launched through a high-decibel panel discussion focusing on the need for a robust digital payments ecosystem in the country. Cashless Bano India would also extend to Tier II and III cities through on-ground educative sessions aimed at reaching public-at-large as well as merchants with the support of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

Commenting on the initiative, NDTV consulting editor Vikram Chandra stated “With digitisation becoming a part of our life in more ways than one, cashless payments are the future of our country. While the benefits of digital payments to the nation and to individuals are obvious, many roadblocks to speedy implementation still remain. This brainstorming session with all stakeholders including the government, bankers, traders and the aam aadmi hopes to charter a blueprint for secure and simple cashless transactions to help build a better India.”

The panel discussion was attended by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Mastercard co-president, Asia Pacific Ari Sarker, CAIT general secretary Praveen Khandelwal, former IMF executive director, Brookings senior fellow and former chief economic adviser to the Govt of India Dr Arvind Virmani, Axis Bank executive director Rajeev Anand, and Punjab National Bank MD and CEO Sunil Mehta. The panel was moderated by Chandra.

Speaking on the initiative, Kant said, “The government has been aggressively driving the push to a less-cash society, bringing a number of policy reforms and initiatives. The vision is to make India lead the world in the evolution of payment systems with technology paving the way. Initiatives like Cashless Bano India will further propel the efforts in bringing a behavioural change towards digital payments and further help in the penetration of digital payments to the last mile.”

Sarker added, “The digital payments industry in India is at an inflection point. Enablers like Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, mobile penetration, and more recently demonetisation have created a strong foundation for large-scale adoption of digital payment systems in India. This is a long-term story, which will require a combination of infrastructure, sleek user experience with highest standards of safety and security, last-mile distribution and reach, together with the right policy initiatives, and significant marketing and communications efforts to build awareness on the benefits of a digital economy. Through our collaboration with like-minded partners like NDTV, we want to do our bit to realize the vision of a cashless India.”

The panel discussion ended with Kant, Chandra and Sarker flagging off a bus, scheduled to travel across the five cities of Kanpur, Jaipur, Surat, Indore and Nagpur. This would be an extended on-ground activation of the campaign, whereby financial literacy and adoption camps would be conducted at the respective cities for traders and merchants.

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