Demonetisation: Debit Card Charges Waived Off Till 31st Dec, But What About Credit Cards?

by November 24, 2016 2 comments

It took 14 days for the government to realise that people with bank accounts, even those having debit/credit cards, need to have the debit card charges waived off before they go all out using them at merchant outlets that accept them,  instead of queuing up outside ATMs or bank branches. So, finally the decision was taken yesterday but has been restricted to debit cards for now. The fact that most bank branches are dry on cash since the past few days is still not reason enough for government to extend this waiver to credit card charges as well, even if it is purely in national interest and does not make economic sense.

A little late, but a step in the right direction

This is the time to test the true mettle of all possible digital payments platforms available to us, if we envisage an India that is completely digital in all respects. The opposition charge of a lack of planning going into the implementation of currency note ban or demonetisation is not completely without merit and even if this measure of waiving off charges comes after 14 days, it is commendable that government is taking daily stock of the situation on the ground and making adjustments accordingly.

Getting around the lack of awareness around digital platforms

Also, with all the noise around digital or mobile wallets, their existence and usage is still beyond comprehension of most of the unbanked, non-tech savvy population and therefore these are unlikely to be used much. Debit/credit cards have a large set of users and their usage also does not require internet connectivity. Moreover, PoS terminals are well-spread across the country and so going cashless through them makes that much more sense. Any step that offers concessions to public at large is bound to have an immediate calming effect on the ever-increasing queues outside banks/ATMs and ever decreasing notes in currency chests!


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  1. Rajkumar
    #1 Rajkumar 29 November, 2016, 06:06

    Debit card is equivalent to cash transactions but not credit card. So this is correct to waive charges only for Debit cards.

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    • Adeesh Sharma
      Adeesh Sharma Author 29 November, 2016, 06:47

      Good observation Raj, but we want to encourage digital platforms even more. Hence, this suggestion.

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