Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/ phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions
With telecom and internet penetration growing steadily, digital payments are winning acceptance in India. A Google- BCG report released last year estimated the Indian digital payments industry would grow to $500 billion by 2020 and would account for 15 per cent of India’s GDP. It also said more than 50 per cent of the internet users in the country would embrace digital payments by 2020. The Government’s recent demonetisation drive has transformed the entire digital payments scenario almost overnight. The biggest beneficiaries of the move, of course, have been mobile wallet companies. User numbers for mobile wallets have soared. For digital wallet companies, this has been driven primarily by the low number of point-of-sales (PoS) machines (required to swipe credit or debit cards) across the country. While the country has over 14 million retail outlets, PoS machines number barely 1.5 million. Low penetration of PoS terminals across India is a problem. Digital India being one of the 10 major thrust areas in Budget 2017-18, plans are underway to ramp up these numbers.
Indian banks will be introducing one million PoS terminals bythis month. Another two million Aadhaar-linked PoS terminals maybe commissioned by September. That said, for a nation of a billion -plus people, a few million PoS terminals are merely drops in the ocean.
Next, the masses are still unable to use smartphones efficiently to make mobile payments easily. For this to happen, smartphone sales and penetration across India need to rise dramatically. But that’s easier said than done due to multiple barriers, particularly since India is an extremely price-sensitive market.
The third challenge that assails both urban and rural, rich and poor users concerns security. The fear of a security breach leading to their money being siphoned off is especially true for new users of e-payment. While various such options exist, each of which has intrinsic security features, users lack reassurance that these are fully secure. Occasional reports of security breaches only heighten such apprehensions. In this case, the best way forward is for digital payment entities to significantly enhance security features, whereby hacking such systems becomes well-nigh impossible. This may be possible via multiple layers of protection such as stringent encryption, use of biometrics and multiple software levels that drive near- total secure transactions. While focusing on security, a digital payment system should also be simple, safe and convenient to use, and remain platform-agnostic. In essence, the system should work seamlessly irrespective of whether customers are using credit or debit cards or making payments through already-active payment platforms such as digital wallets or the Government’s UPI (Unified Payment Interface). Apart from the above, lack of acceptability of digital wallets among vendors is another hurdle as many are still behind the technology adoption curve. It’s imperative to minimise entry barriers for customers by keeping charges minimal. It is also important to educate all stakeholders about working in unison to fulfill the Government’s mission of promoting a less-cash society.
Q31. According to the passage, which of the following challenge/s is/are being faced by the government to strengthen Digital India?