India is currently getting ready to lead the world in cashless payments. It less than three years, the country’s Unified Payment Interface has exploded in popularity from zero to over 800 million transactions each month. You can use the system virtually everywhere from expensive shopping malls and restaurants, to street vendors and more. Going cashless has a huge array of benefits for both businesses and consumers. We’ll dive into India’s payment revolution to see how you can make the most of this phenomenal new technology.
By: David Walker
How Do Cashless Payments Work?
Cashless payments skip the hassle of multi-day bank transfers. Instead, smartphone owners can initiate or request payments from other smartphone owners. Neither person needs to know anything else besides the ID or mobile number. Nor do they need to use the same bank or even the same app.
As long as they use a bank, payment portal, or any other platform that is a member of India’s Unified Payment Interface, UPI, they’ll be able to make instant transactions. Also, unlike other systems such as China’s WeChat Pay, the UPI is open-source, making it much more flexible for people to use.
The Many Benefits of Cashless Payments
In addition to their incredible ease of use, cash payments offer users so many fantastic benefits. For consumers and businesses, you have a record of all transactions making it easier to track spending. Moreover, should there be problems such as purchasing a defective product; it makes it much easier for customers to file complaints. Naturally, governments also love these payment systems as they make it easier to calculate taxes.
Naturally, there are a few downsides to cashless payments. If your smartphone battery dies, then you’ll be unable to make a transaction. Moreover, individuals in rural areas without access to bank accounts may have trouble gaining access to these payment methods — although more companies are now targeting these customers too. In fact, there are even more benefits to cashless in these areas as users bypass traditional banking systems to gain access to credit, savings, and other financial tools through digital payment services.
Staying Safe With Cashless Transactions
Digital payments are the wave of the future. However, users need to take cybersecurity precautions to ensure their data and money are kept safe. First, always verify your transactions. Make sure you know who exactly you’re sending or receiving money from. Never accept money from somebody you don’t know. Not only does it violate your terms of service agreement, but it may also be a phishing attempt to steal your personal information.
Further, since all cashless transactions happen over the internet, you must protect your network connection. Although many payment apps are quite secure, hackers can take advantage of apps with lower security levels to gain access to your smartphone data as well as your banking and finance apps. To best protect yourself online, be sure to use a VPN. VPNs encrypt and anonymize all internet connections with the highest levels of encryption technology. This will not only protect you while making digital payments but across your entire internet usage.
How to Protect Your Digital Transactions with a VPN
Protecting your digital transactions with a VPN is extremely simple. After you’ve selected a top quality VPN service provider, all you have to do is login and enable the VPN on your phone. That’s it. From here, all of your transactions will be encrypted. Some people choose to use their VPN only when making or receiving payments. However, if you want total security, it’s best to have it enabled at all times. With the highest quality VPN providers, you’ll hardly notice a difference in your bandwidth speeds while having protection across the board.
Leading the Way: India’s Cashless Revolution
Digital payments are revolutionizing the way people live, do business, and interact with each other. Around the world, countries are beginning to emulate India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to create efficient and easy to use payment systems. Although it will still be several years before cash completely disappears, more and more people will begin to embrace this incredible technology. So make sure you keep your transactions safe by utilizing a VPN. With it, you protect your internet connection, so your payments and data are always safe.
The author is a blogger and researcher specializing in cyber security topics