Last updated: December 3, 2019
There is a wide variety of platforms offering payment and related services are available for Indian users. In general, we can put different platforms into two groups.
Statistical studies conducted by government states that, around 87 percentage of transactions are by using promissory notes. It could be either barter exchange or by use of promissory notes. Looking through a privacy lens, it is recommended to use physical transactions. But it is lacking needs of new world order. Digital payments are another choice. There are a lot of digital payment platforms available for Indian subcontinent such as Google Tez, PayTm, Razor Pay, PhonePe, Bitcoin based payments etc.
Modes of payments
Physical payments in India primarily depends on promissory notes. Developed countries like Germany still preferres physical mode of payment. Indian government is pushing people towards digital payment methods. But, government is pumping money to market for the digital payments’ adoption as the translation over convenience should be gradual and voluntary.
Cash have the advantage of its physical existence. Ideally all transactions are anonymous as nobody knows who bought what as centralised shopping cards deanonymise purchases. Another advantage of physical money is it provides privacy for the purchases, quick and easy to use. It is unnecessary to educate how to use it. It have government regulation. In India, the regulator body is RBI. It is taxable for the government and also it have support for micro-payments. Even though it have great advantages, it is possible to steal somebody's money. considering a large demonetisation, it is difficult to carry and at last, value of the promissory note is limited to the jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, digital money introduced to eliminate problems of physical money with effective easiness of physical money. But for most cases, popular digital cash implementations introduced new problems Which are very critical to solve with the same ease of use of promissory note. Most of the users choose mobile based payments due to its convenience because mobility in banking, it saves time, can access services without computer or visiting bank. In a browser based merchant application, transaction is happening in by transferring control to the payment gateway and then to bank. Bank sends back merchant transaction status - success or failure.
When considering modern merchant mobile application, either Android or iOS, payment stack is as located inside the application as figure 4.1 says. Mobile operating systems are providing application ecosystem framework with the help of permissions. While considering a Android based mobile application, most penetrated mobile operating system in the market, a merchant application will have a payment SDK, which will have a gateway settler. Gateway settler remotely calls bank. When a transaction happens, OS transfers control in that order. Payment SDK, gateway settler and bank will need to have some permissions to run the service other than that for merchant app. But the permissions shared hierarchically. So foreign component aka payment SDK could have access to some resources that is not required for it. There it is possible for the foreign agent to collect unwanted data.
Payments can be done either using hand-held devices, desktop computers. Mobile consumer, fin-tech, applications have not identified need for privacy as a requiem for 21th century. Web payments are recommended.