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Demonetisation to help m-commerce in India: Report

The Centre’s move of demonetisation will augur well for the m-commerce industry in the country and most of the retail commerce will shift to mobile in the near future, says a report.

“It has been more than two weeks since the move to ban the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes was announced. The demonetisation move was exactly the fillip the fledgling m-commerce ecosystem in India was looking for,” according to a CII Grant Thornton report on m-commerce.

M-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services through mobile phones.

“Smartphone usage has grown at an explosive pace in recent past. We expect it to grow even faster with demonetisation and entry of new service providers such as Reliance Jio. This in turn will fuel the growth of m-commerce and we envisage that most of the retail commerce will shift to m-commerce in the foreseeable future,” the report said.

M-commerce accounts for nearly 60 per cent of online sales in the country, on the back of 30 to 50 per cent growth in online transactions in the tier II and III cities.

The growth in m-commerce has been fuelled by the availability of affordable smartphones and mobile data plans.

India currently has 292 million smartphone users, and more than 45 per cent of all mobile phones shipped in Indian market were smartphones in the first quarter of 2016.

Mobile Internet user base in India has increased to 371 million in 2016 and the user base is expected to annually grow by 50 million till 2019.

Online shoppers in India are likely to more than double by 2020, it noted.

“The current online shoppers are in the range of 80-100 million and expected to increase to 175-220 million by 2020,” it said.

It also observed that 60 per cent of online shoppers prefer mobile devices.

It noted that mobile wallets have become a key enabler for m-commerce as most people are hesitant to share their bank account details or credit/debit card details due to the fear of sensitive information getting compromised.

“While online banking and even mobile banking has been around for a long time, mobile wallets have made it easier to shop. From grocery to cab rides to movie tickets to food deliveries to utility bills, almost anything can be bought and paid via simple mobile apps,” it pointed out.

Over the past four years, mobile wallet transactions have jumped from Rs. 10 billion (60 mn transactions) in 2012-13 to over Rs. 490 billion (600 mn transactions) in the year 2015-16.

“With ever-increasing Internet and mobile penetration and the recent demonetisation event, India is all set to witness a massive surge in the adoption of digital payments in the recent future,” it said.

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