We have all seen ‘In god we trust, everyone else to pay cash’ signs at many mom n pop shops and small merchants. We also know that India trusts Bank Notes issued by Govt/RBI and also the Banks with their money.
Demonetization is a good move and could bring some of the intended results. However, even if coupled with Jan Dhan and Digital India, it’ll not enough to turn India into a cashless country. Govt through its policies and implementation along with businesses will have to win the trust of the people beyond all doubt.
To become a cashless or less-cash society, India needs to trust credit cards, mobile wallets and other digital payment instruments to the same extent as they trust Banks and Post offices. In fact any online or mobile business needs to win customer’s trust before customer pays online before delivery. If I can trust Flipkart with my money, I’ll have no hesitation paying them online, else I’ll ask for COD and pay only when I can touch and feel the goods.
The biggest reason to avoid digital transactions may not be black or unaccounted money. A small percentage of people in the country have black money. For the rest, the key issue is trust deficit. If I pay Flipkart in advance, will I get what I order? Will they return my money if I return the goods? If I pay them in advance, they got me by the balls and will dictate terms. If a eMerchant can manage to put these questions to rest, we’ll see COD reducing. We’ll see Paytm, Flipkart and the like multiplying their business. Trust in anything ‘digital’ will play a huge role in making us a less-cash society.
Winning the trust and faith of a large number of people is not easy and takes time, messaging and effort. Businesses have to work at it religiously and relentlessly.
How does a business win the trust of its prospect customers is a million (may be a billion) dollar question? I believe this will involve things such as simple, clear and unambiguous terms of business, clearly communicated, no reading between the lines, in a language consumer understands coupled with a very strict and on-time implementation of the stated terms. The Govt too needs to come down heavily on those who break people’s trust in online payments and defraud the consumer.
Trust forms a long-term relationship and loyalty.
If your customer says ‘In Flipkart we trust (bharosa hai) –everyone else to please deliver COD’, then you’re done.