FICCI research calls for contactless cards

The Government has been recommended to take out all stops towards promotion of digital payments in the currently tensed environment caused by the deadly coronavirus.

“A key recommendation from FICCI in the present circumstances has been for the government to take out all stops towards promotion of digital payments,” Dr Sangita Reddy, President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said on 26 Mar 2020.

This mode of payment is safe as well as far more convenient for people, who may out of caution prefer to do transactions sitting at home in the current circumstances, said Dr Reddy welcoming the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s comprehensive package for the economy, badly hit by COVID-19.

“Countries across the world are looking at measures to limit the use of cash and FICCI would urge the government to bring back the subsidy for digital transactions for amounts of less than Rs.2,000 as well as announce status-quo ante on MDR to support proliferation of acquiring devices,” said Dr Reddy.

Research by FICCI members from the digital payments industry shows that in the current circumstances, it is certainly better if the government encourages the usage of contactless cards, increase limits on online usage of credit and debit cards, promote the usage of Bharat-QR code as well as launch a nationwide campaign highlighting the safety associated with usage of digital payments.

FICCI would work with its members to promote digital payments across all sections and segments of society, she assured.

Dr Reddy said the decision to reduce bank charges for digital trade transactions for trade finance consumers is also well noted and underscores the importance of digital trade that the government would like to promote.

“The measures announced with regard to tax filings, statutory compliances, IBC and bank related compliances would greatly relieve the stress on members of corporate India and would enable them to focus their energies on maintaining business continuity while taking care of their employees and business associates.”

“We have also noted that with a view to reducing the pressure on bank staff, who are working tirelessly to provide the essential services and enhancing consumer convenience, the charges on withdrawal of money from ATMs though debit cards have been removed for three months.

“This would ensure that people don’t have to travel far to meet their cash requirements and the visits to bank branches will also be limited,” noted Dr Reddy.

She also welcomed the announcement to remove the charges for non-maintenance of minimal balances in savings accounts will provide relief to the small businesses who have been adversely impacted due to the limitation on movement and lockdowns that have been enforced across the country.


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