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India to be cashless by 2025: Standard Chartered’s Global Survey 2020

New Delhi: In a more cashless society, the new Indian consumer is more digital, cautious, and conscientious and the majority of them expect India to be cashless by 2025.

COVID-19 has seen the emergence of a cashless, cautious, and more conscientious consumer, according to Standard Chartered’s latest global survey.

The increase in preference for online payments is true across a range of purchases, from groceries and travel to digital devices.

As a result, 87 percent of people in India (64 percent globally) now expect their country to go fully cashless, the highest proportion of any country surveyed, with a majority expecting this to happen by 2025.

Almost two-thirds of survey respondents around the world agree that Covid-19 has made them more positive about online shopping. Indians were the most enthusiastic of any country surveyed, with 78 percent now more positive about online shopping than they were prior to the pandemic.

But consumers globally, and in India, are being more careful with their spending and want new ways to track their money digitally.

The study of 12,000 adults across 12 markets — Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mainland China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, and the US — is the second in a three-part series, looking at how COVID-19 has transformed consumers’ way of life, and what changes could be here to stay.

While the first survey focused on the pandemic’s impact on earnings, the second offers new insights into the way the global health crisis is changing consumer spending habits.

Respondents in all 12 markets anticipate doing more of their shopping online from now on. In India, the preference for online shopping has shifted significantly. Prior to the pandemic, 54 percent of consumers preferred to shop online versus in-person, but this is now 69 percent for future purchases.

The survey results are supported by Standard Chartered’s ATM withdrawals data. Across the ten surveyed markets where Standard Chartered offers retail banking (all except the UK and US), COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the decline in ATM usage. Cash withdrawals from ATMs are now half what they were two years ago.

Meanwhile, as spending begins to creep up as lockdowns ease globally – 56 percent of Indians reported increased spending in July (46 percent globally) – 90 percent of people in India say the pandemic has made them more careful with their expenditure (75 percent globally).

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