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NPCI urges India to use digital payments to reduce social contact, curb coronavirus spread

Image by Tushar Ghoyal from Flickr

Fri, 27 Mar 2020, 00:11 am UTC

National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) urges the citizens of India to use digital payments to reduce social contact and curb the spread of COVID-19.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus. NPCI and the other banks in the country are committed to helping by supporting the digital payment infrastructure.

“In the current lock-down situation, we request citizens to stay at home. We urge all service providers of essential services and consumers to switch to digital payments methods to stay protected,” said Dilip Asbe, NPCI MD & CEO.

“Our business continuity plan is resilient and has been improvised to meet the challenging requirements for COVID19, across all our payment systems. Specifically, the infrastructure will support the additional load and challenges on the United Payments Interface (UPI) platform, as more and more users are tapping into the benefits, ease, and safety of digital transactions,” Asbe added.

To make the whole ordeal easier for both customers and merchants, NCPI and the State Government are working together to ensure that more vendors, especially those selling essential services, are on the digital platforms.

“For vendors and merchants, we have fast tracked the onboarding system on UPI or UPI-QR to make it totally contactless and fully online. Vendors do not have to compromise on self-isolation guidelines to complete this essential task. Vendors and merchants can be safe as they serve society and provide essential services. Consumers can use UPI to pay for essential services and transfer money digitally without the risk of physical contact,” Asbe said.

Digital payments are expected to gain more popularity even after the pandemic is over because people are likely to maintain social distancing. Experts also predict that dependence on cash will become lesser as more will prefer contactless payments for their security.

Meanwhile, Binance.US CEO Catherine Coley encouraged the United States to use stablecoins for emergency funds. She explained that digital assets offer speed and security because they can be sent digitally.

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