How digital literacy can be a game-changer

Amid the hullabaloo about going online and digital transaction in the retail ecosystem, there is certain percentage of business experts who might still opt from conventional ways of doing business.
Can digital literacy uplift the retail ecosystem

A year after demonetization came into effect, nearly 63% consumers and even small-sized retailers have switched to digital payments. However, digital literacy especially among kirana store owners can be a game-changer, suggests a recent study. 

There may be an increasing number of consumers and retailers who have accepted digital payment instruments to be useful, but there is still a sizeable section that has reservations on its usefulness. While right communication can create awareness on the benefits of digital payments and allay concerns, literacy campaigns and information dissemination by stakeholders will be a game-changer, says the ‘Going Cashless’ survey. “Some of the major concerns about digital payments are privacy, consumer protection and security,” the report says.

It further suggests that government and service providers have to devise intelligent literacy campaigns and the pervasiveness of mobile phones has to be used for digital and financial literacy.

What is digital payment literacy?
While there is a sizable population which has access to bank accounts, these accounts are not being used to transact and to acquire digital payments instruments. Most of these account holders do not know how to activate digital payments instruments associated by default with their account or to acquire new digital payments instruments. Lack of interest in actively acquiring digital payments instruments could be on account of inadequate knowledge and confidence in using these instruments. Therefore, digital payments literacy is essential on each major mode of digital payments. Literacy has to be imparted on precautions to be taken in using these instruments and the risks associated with them. Kirana retailers have to be educated on digital payments acceptance infrastructure – what to acquire, where to acquire and on how to acquire and use.

Way forward
Increased usage of financial products and services can increase adoption of digital payments. Usage of financial products and services will increase when people are empowered to choose the right financial product. Banks and other financial service providers need to educate their customers on the various products and services that are made available to them. This will enable them to select right products and services based on their requirements and risk assessment.

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