Credit cards are being accepted an increasing number of cafes, shops, restaurants and accommodations in India, with Mastercard and Visa being the most common. That said, cash is still king, especially outside of cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has spent years pushing for India to become a cashless economy. In 2016, to combat tax evasion and illegal activities, Modi announced that India’s two most common bank notes would be worthless. The two notes accounted for 86 per cent of India’s cash and the following months saw absolute chaos, with locals having to spend hours lining outside banks to swap their notes over. Though that experiment is now considered a failure, Modi has continued to steer India towards a cashless economy.
It’s impossible to say whether India will become a cashless economy, particularly given the reliance the economy has on cash and the staggering number of Indians who do not have a bank account, but the push will see more and more places accepting credit cards as time goes on.