China is rapidly transitioning towards a cashless society. In 2016, mobile payments in China were worth USD5.5 trillion; about 50 times those of the U.S. (USD 120 billion). China is encouraging digital payments as part of a Green Finance Project. Further, digital payments are being used for improved access to health services in China, and for student tuition fees and meal expenses in model cities such as Tianjin.
Following the demonetization initiative in November 2016, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has undertaken several initiatives to encourage the growth of non-cash transactions. For example, it has reduced Merchant Discount Rates (MDR), from 1 January 2018. A differentiated MDR has been announced for QR code transactions. Further, in September 2017, the Bharat QR code was launched, which is an interoperable payments acceptance solution that supports Visa, Mastercard, RuPay, and Amex cards and BHIM–UPI for wider acceptance. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is set to launch UPI 2.0 in August 2018. This version will have extended features such as invoice view for customers, inward remittances from outside India, and overdraft facilities. In the Middle East, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) plans to roll-out QR codes.
Turkey aims to go cashless by 2023. With a growing younger population who are willing to adopt technology and shift to digital payments, the country is definitely poised for a cashless future. Further, Turkey has the highest number of registered cards, over 170 million, in Europe and mobile payments volume is expected to grow four times higher during 2015-19.
The Vietnamese Government is seeking to drastically reduce cash transactions and improve digital payments by 2020. Further, a plan seeks to reduce the number of cash transactions to less than 10% of total market transactions in the retail and shopping segment by 2020; 70% of transactions related to utility services and telcos; and 50% of total urban households.