India's slow road to payment bytes

Indian bankers embrace electronic payments, but consumers remain sceptical.

Change in India has rarely been easy. Just ask anyone trying to build a new road or receive approval for foreign investment in the country. Payment systems are no different.

The Reserve Bank of India RBI has been working since the 1990s to shift payment processing away from paper and into the digital realm. This would significantly reduce processing times, put money in the hands of corporate treasurers faster and make the country globally more competitive. To date, the central bank has succeeded in implementing basic electronic credit and debit-clearing systems, a high-value real-time gross settlements RTGS infrastructure and the low-value retail National Electronic Funds Transfer NEFT system.

The government and central bank...

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