This is how Asia is building a cashless society


The global economy is enhancing each day, and dealing with cash has become a common headache. Collecting currency notes, counting them, transferring them through secure means and signing checks has become a lengthy and time-taking process. Organizations, in a race of growing smarter, are trying to get rid of these traditional procedures.

This need has given birth to cashless payments. A cashless society is where people don’t carry cash in their pockets. Instead, they pay via credit cards and mobile credit. Here is a review of some leading payment services that are innovating the cashless modes of payment in Asia.

Banks going Cashless

Airtel Indiaairtel-new-logo-ver

Airtel India has recently launched a payments bank, referred as Airtel Bank. Killing the conventional methods of account opening, Airtel allows one to set up a bank account by providing just his mobile number. Airtel Bank, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has become the pioneer of payment banks in the country. Now, the users can deposit and withdraw the amount from their Airtel bank account that can be accessed from over 10,000 retailers.

The bank features swift account set up using Aadhaar based e-KYC, based on user’s mobile number. it utilizes user’s mobile number as his account number. NonAirtel users can open saving account at 7.25% interest rate per annum. It also features money transfer to any bank of India and free money transfer from Airtel to Airtel accounts. The bank also assures individual accidental insurance up to INR 1 lac.


Easypaisa Pakistan

Easypaisa is an initiative by Telenor and Tameer Bank for the development of a cashless society. Easypaisa provides payment solutions throughout Pakistan. You can open a bank account that can be accessed by over 70,000 retailers. It provides money transfer to Easypaisa accounts and to individuals via Easypay. Easypaisa also offers payment at several renounced online shopping websites, balance top-up, and bill payments.

GrabPay Walletgrab-logo

GrabPay also provides e-wallet services, enabling one to save his/her money in a single stand-alone app. Grab is one of the main rivals to Uber in SEA. Rather than just fulfilling the user’s transportation needs, it aims to store its users’ cash, so that they can even pay their bills and shop at the grocery stores. GrabPay account can be recharged via ATMs or stores.

Grab is currently providing this service in Indonesia and Singapore. It plans to expand it to Thailand, Malaysia, and Philippines soon.

No Check-ins


Eazypay is a smartphone app launched by ICICI Bank, headquartered at India. It is meant to make swift payments at the stores, without waiting in the queues for long. Eazypay provides multiple digital modes for cashless payments like Unified Payment Interface (UPI), credit card or internet banking.

You can just scan the QR code provided by the app to get rid of counting the currency notes and waiting for the change. If you want to make payment via credit card, an SMS notifies you to enter your details, and upon entering, you are done with the payments. Eazypay is a useful step towards digital innovation.


Headquartered at Vietnam, Vietunion has just launched PayTouch to provide cashless services at 2,000+ convenience stores. PayTouch enables its users to pay for entertainment and traveling tickets. Users can also pay their utility bills, TV cable fee, and customer loans via PayTouch. Moreover, it also accepts tuition fee from almost 1700 schools.

This initiative by Vietunion will contribute towards the development of a cashless society in Vietnam where only 2% people carry credit cards. While in Singapore, 89% of the population uses credit cards and in Malaysia, the users exceed 41%.

IDFC Aadhaar Payidfc-aadhar-pay

IDFC is a cashless shopping solution provided by IDFC Bank. Aadhaar Pay, developed by the Indian government is backed by IDFC Bank. It provides its users to go cashless by paying at numerous retailers shop through their smartphone. Hundreds of merchants have already been using IDFC Aadhaar Pay for the past few years. There is no transaction fee for both customer and the merchant.

The merchants are on board with IFDC Bank through e-KYC. The dealer can download Aadhaar Pay app on his smartphone.  The customer provides Bank name, Aadhaar number, and the fingerprint is used as a password. Aadhaar Pay is unique because it doesn’t force its users to remember passwords, use credit cards or even bear a mobile phone. It is the most convenient method for customers to pay at shopping malls and retail stores.


Transport going Cashless


DIVRT is an end-to-end smart parking system offering services in India. It has recently introduced cashless parking system to enable its users to pay their parking fee through a mobile application. DIVRT mobile app is available for iOS and Android users. UB is collaborating with DIVRT to provide over 1600 cashless parking spots.

This will allocate the parking slots to the customers automatically, and they will not have to wait long to check-out from the parking arena. DIVRT focuses on providing the shoppers a friendly environment from the moment they step into the one they leave.


GrabPay Credits

Grab is a Singapore-based company that provides its services in southeast Asia (SEA). The total population of SEA is nearly 620 million. Only 27% of this population bears a bank account, and only 9% uses credit cards.

GrabPay Credits is focused towards the development of a cashless society. It aims to provide accessible and affordable transportation to every citizen. The company is struggling to take maximum transportation services onboard to provide payment services for local transportation as well. Grab claims to have 1.5 million bookings per day with the figure increasing each day.

GrabPay users can easily top-up their credit through local banks, ATMs, and stores. In Singapore, GrabPay users can top-up their balance using American Express, China Union Pay, MasterCard, and Visa. According to analysts, Singapore is one of the leading countries that is striving for the development of a cashless society.


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Innovative Trends in Cashless Payments

South-east Asia is one of the fastest e-commerce growing regions of the world. According to research, by 2020, SEA will enhance its e-commerce revenue up to 25 billion USD. People are choosing cashless modes of payments to get rid of cash payments. Customers are more comfortable paying through their mobile phones and cards. Here are some of the innovative trends that are revolutionizing the digital payment channels these days.

Encryption Technology

Payment through cashless channels requires several entities to process the payment: customer’s card, merchant’s point of sale, card’s brand, payment gateway, etc. Even a single weak link throughout this chain can ruin the entire process. Now, companies are investing for point-to-point encryption to ensure safe and reliable payments throughout.

Customer’s satisfaction is one of the main hurdles towards the development of a cashless society. Customers are concerned that whether keeping money in a single app will be safe or not. So companies are focusing on developing foolproof firewalls so that no one can interfere with accounts.

Enhanced Tokenization

A thief can attack a person’s account by knowing his account number and authentication data. He can use his card and steal his card identity. Tokenization is a process to create a user’s unique identity every time he wants to process his payment. This code is a random combination. In this way, any anonymous person cannot reach your account by remembering the last code you provided. QR code is also following the same trend.

More Payment Options

Shopping is going cashless with different cashless modes. At present, some stores are enabling their customers to pay for the selected items at the time they pick it. In future, people will be able to pay for their products even before buying, just to save time.

Cashless Society – a boon or a curse

There is still a mismatch of opinions about benefits of going cashless. There is a lengthy discussion on transforming the society from cash to less cash and then to cashless. But knowing the insights will be helpful in knowing the facts.

The Positive Side

  • Security: It is very easy to shut down your e-wallet if it is stolen or is in wrong hands. Biometric identification is serving best to keep the accounts secure.
  • Convenience: It eliminates the need of carrying cash in pockets; thus, keeping one safe from pickpockets and dropping money. You can make your payment through a single tap.
  • Proper record: Payments made through e-wallets keep their traces, and you can easily monitor your expenses at each step.
  • Taxes: As all the cashless payments are through proper channels and keep their record, so it encourages citizens to pay their taxes on a regular basis. Increased tax collection will help to eradicate poverty from the society.
  • Anti-Terrorism Acts: As all the payments will be made through digital means, there will be no ground to spend currency notes. And this will keep a check on payments that are made to support terrorism.
  • Cost-effective: Eliminating the currency notes will save the cost for entire printing procedure.
  • No Fake Currencies: As there will be no place to spend currency notes, so it will eliminate the use of fake notes.
  • Say NO to Corruption: On-record payments will help to kill corruption as each and every penny spent through payment channels will be monitored.

The Negative Side

  • Cyber Attack: This is the highest risk associated with cashless payments. Companies assure that their services are foolproof but small bugs in the system can lead to cyber-attacks. Google ensures that its wallet service is secure than credit cards but recently, it had to shut down its services because of security vulnerability highlighted at a technology convention. Cashless payments have activated the hackers to find new methods to access one’s account. This can lead to online banking fraud to loot the public.
  • System Failure: Failure of the biometric system may raise serious concerns. For example, in countries, where acquiring biometric identification is not so common, verification through biometric ID will be an issue.
  • Decline in Jobs: Cashless payments have already taken over the responsibility of a cashier and an accounts manager, and numerous people have gone jobless. The increase in digital payments will directly increase the unemployment rate in the society.

In the Highlights

India growing Cashless

The Indian government has recently approved the Ordinance for paying the salaries trough electronic means. The government is taking measures to build a cashless society. But analysts are of the view that it is not the right time for India to go cashless. In a country of 1.25 billion population, only 53% bears bank accounts. Internet provision is another major issues as only 34% of the population has internet access.

Moreover, the smartphone is not in everyone’s price range, and not everyone can afford it. But still, the government is motivating people to adopt cashless payment modes to build a cashless society. Recently, the government has also announced several lucky draws and schemes to provoke people to go cashless.

Singapore on its way to becoming Cashless

Currently, Singapore is ranked 8th among the cashless countries. Denmark is leading the race with the most adaptive cashless payment modes, while Sweden is at the 3rd place. Singapore is striving to become Asia’s Sweden. According to some stats, an average of 12.7 checks was written per person in 2014, and in the same year, Sweden had none.

Now Singapore is growing cashless with most of its payments made through digital means. Analysts are of the view that soon Singapore will be among the top 3 cashless societies of the world as it has embraced the concept in most adaptive manner. The stats of the digital transactions in the graph shown below depict the country’s concerns towards building a cashless society.


The Final Words

Cashless payment has its own pros and cons. Every country should transform its payment methods to digital modes keeping in view its own consequences. It is the need to realize that whether the problem is less cash or to be cashless. Decisions should be based on the facts that how it will affect the economy of the system.

If you have any idea to innovate the cashless payment services, comment below and we will spread your word. Tell us about your experience with digital payments.

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Sheharyar Khan

The author Sheharyar Khan

Sheharyar is a professional technical content writer who loves to explore new technologies, and penning them down mesmerizes him the most.

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