Since demonetisation in India, the federal government has adopted several measures to promote and encourage digital payments throughout the territory. As part of the Digital India programme, the government aims to create a digital economy that is truly cashless.
Technological advancements in recent years have helped fueled the digitalisation of the economy. Several innovations in digital payments have made it increasingly simple and convenient for Indians to transfer money digitally.
And despite the fact that this is exactly what the government hoped and planned for, there have also been some unexpected and unwanted consequences related to going cashless.
One of the perhaps most unexpected outcomes of demonetisation is how it has increased the accessibility of online betting sites in India — a real sore spot for the Indian government!
There was a time when using online betting sites in India used to be practically impossible
Using a betting site involves making a financial transaction in order to deposit money onto the betting site.
Making a deposit on a betting site was made difficult in the past, as Indian banks often blocked payments because of the ambiguity of Indian laws regarding online betting.
Neteller and Skrill aimed to solve these problems for bettors. These are worldwide payment services and deposit methods which enjoy high popularity in the betting industry.
However, although Neteller and Skrill made it possible to deposit money on a betting site, it still wasn’t particularly easy.
These payment methods require the player to go through a time-consuming account verification process.
Moreover, these platforms charge a high transaction fee as well. Several Indian banks refuse to process Neteller and Skrill deposits due to their reputation of online gambling deposit methods.
For these reasons, making a deposit on a betting site in India used to be a complicated and time-consuming affair. Until the Indian government came along and unintentionally made it much easier!
How the Indian government facilitates online betting in India
In combination with the demonetisation of Indian banknotes in 2016, the government of India launched UPI (Unified Payments Interface),
UPI is a closed-loop Indian payment system through which any person with a bank account can transfer money through a UPI-based app. It is cheap, easy, and the money is transferred instantly.
The service allows users to send money 24/7, even outside normal banking hours.
Moreover, UPI proved to be the perfect way for Indian players to transact with international betting sites.
All the betting sites would have to do is set up a bank account in an Indian state where online betting is not illegal. Then Indian players would be able to freely send and receive money from the betting site at no cost and with zero hassle.
Aside from UPI which is used by more than 100 million people, there are also several other local Indian payment systems popping up, which has further added to the expansion of online betting in India. These include PhonePe, Paytm, GooglePay and Mobikwik.
So in nothing but a few short years, prospective Indian bettors have gone from having nearly zero options, to now having half a dozen or so convenient payment methods that they can use when betting online.
This has made international betting sites way more accessible to the common man in India, which will no doubt lead to the expansion of online betting over the next 5-10 years!