Money & Banking

Mastercard joins hands with MS Dhoni to build 'Team Cashless India'

K.R. Srivats NEW DELHI | Updated on October 16, 2019 Published on October 16, 2019

MS Dhoni

The initiative is to bring consumers and merchants to the forefront of the digital payments dialogue.

Mastercard, a technology company in the global payments industry, along with legendary cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni launched on Wednesday a nationwide initiative to accelerate the acceptance and adoption of digital payments.

Titled 'Team Cashless India', the initiative brings consumers and merchants to the forefront of the digital payments dialogue.The campaign encourages all Indians to nominate one or more merchants who currently do not accept digital payments.

Mastercard will work together with the Confederation of All India Traders, acquirer banks and fin-tech companies to support nominated merchants to deploy digital payments acceptance infrastructure.

Speaking on the occasion, MS Dhoni said there is a need for all to adopt digital payments and help formalise the economy. "This (Mastercard) campaign is a good move forward. The common man also needs to contribute. It's an effort in the right direction," he said at the launch event.

Dhoni said that adoption of digital payments is a way of contributing to the country "as every time you make a digital payment, it gets accounted for".

Transition to cashless economy

Ari Sarkar, Co-President, Asia-Pacific, Mastercard, said that India was 97-98 per cent cash economy not too long ago. “ We have seen some good progress in the last four to five years, where transition has been at fairly good clip. We are still at 90 per cent cash. You can see the shift going from 98 to 90, and you can see the enormous opportunity for all stakeholders to drive the cashless agenda", Sarkar said.

Sarkar highlighted that cashless and digital is massive step forward for formalising a very large part of an informal economy.

The informal economy, which forms large part of Indian economy, is plagued with many challenges including important challenge of “access to credit”, he said.

“When you drive informal economy to formal economy, access to credit is going to be transformational. We have seen how MUDRA. We still haven’t seen the real potential of this movement to a formalised economy and what it can deliver”, he said.

Sarkar said that global payments industry — call it electronic, card-based, digital or mobile-based — is  going through massive transformation, and India is actually at the forefront of that transformation or change. The real growth of digital or electronic has been the way “debit as a product” has grown in recent decades. This has opened significant scale of opportunity of converting a large part of cash economy into digital and thereby into formal economy.

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Published on October 16, 2019
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