Cash payments dominate utility payments: Study

A study by global payments and technology company MasterCard has revealed that about 90 per cent of utility bills are paid in cash and about 80 per cent of these bills are paid at biller's office.

The primary alternative for those with no access to banking facility is to pay these bills at a retail outlet and the same accounts for about five per cent of the total payments, the study found. The study is useful, according to MasterCard, as it can be used to understand financial inclusion. The recurring nature of these payments and the huge numbers involved make "electronification" of such payments key to drive financial inclusion.

MasterCard Worldwide Division President (South Asia) T V Seshadri said, "Our vision is to work towards greater financial inclusion and ultimately, a world beyond cash, where consumers and small businesses alike can benefit from simpler payment options using smart technology." The study added, "Making bill payment electronic has the potential to create a value proposition for all stakeholders and drive financial inclusion, an important first step for initiating financial inclusion on a large scale."

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