Saturday, November 18, 2017

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Ride the cashless wave

The cashless economy is going to change the face of existing jobs and create some new ones. So, switch gears and be ready to upskill yourself as India marches towards digital financial transactions15 Nov 2017 | 12:40 AM

Over the past year or so, following demonetisation, India has been making fervent efforts to move towards a cashless transaction economy by minimising the use of physical cash. This is in consonance with ‘Digital India’ programme which has a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.

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Gauri Chhabra

Over the past year or so, following demonetisation, India has been making fervent efforts to move towards a cashless transaction economy by minimising the use of physical cash. This is in consonance with ‘Digital India’ programme which has a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. “Faceless, paperless, cashless” is one of professed roles of Digital India. The leading advantage of building a cashless economy is the elimination of black money. This has other implications on the economy. It changes the face of existing jobs and also sends a spiral of new set of jobs and careers. 

Let us take a look.

Upscaling of sectors and careers:


Cryptocurrency is here to stay; in fact, it has opened up a whole new sector in the crossover world between the IT and financial investment fields. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Asiadigicoin have also been the recipients of a positive upswing from Modi’s currency purge.The interest in cryptocurrencies themselves is almost matched by the increasing attention that is being paid to the underlying blockchain technology, which many think could revolutionise the way we do business in wider ways than were ever imagined.

Tech companies, banks, consulting firms and private sector businesses are all hiring blockchain developers, and demand is currently outstripping supply. This has led to a spike in the number of small business consultancies springing up to meet demand and get a slice of the pie. In many cases, large companies will look to build a team around a small core of developers with expertise in blockchain technology. This means a wealth of support roles for anyone with solid software engineering and development skills and a basic understanding of the underlying blockchain principles. You may get a job as a Social Media Marketing Manager (Cryptocurrency), Cryptocurrency Engineer, Marketing Content Manager, Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Associate. It is also true that it is not all about blockchain. Anyone with expertise in aspects such as online security and networking can also play a vital role alongside the developers. You would need to beef up your Engineering degree with the following courses from abroad:

Mobile wallets

A natural offshoot of a cashless economy is the mobile wallet industry. The value and volume of mobile wallet transactions more than doubled in the last year alone and as such the industry is leading the charge to making India a cashless economy. Increased adoption of smartphones and mobile data packages has been one of largest contributors to this growth and as technology penetration increases and mobile data costs come down, the industry is primed for further growth. Mobile wallet providers have now become a kind of mini banking institutions (payments banks) and it would not be surprising if they get their banking licenses, and follow the path like Paytm, Airtel etc. 

The mobile wallet roles not only include those of developers who make a good product, but also market it in a way that touches every consumer aspect from excellent UI/UX to all basic wallet features to one touch payment to one-to -ne customer engagement. 

Then there are roles that can bring about an integration between hardware and software and also an expertise in NFC which is now available on nearly all high-end smartphones. This will be very lucrative if we take into consideration the government’s agenda of financial inclusion. 

FIn Tech

Due to the change in the way money changes hands, there has been an upscale of Fintech sector with many start ups garnering attention. As credit underwriting for MSMEs remains a challenge, fintech firms bringing in technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, psychometric analysis and social media behaviour analytics to evaluate credit-worthiness is a welcome development. This creates a need for IT jobs that have a confluence of Finance and technology- both as a functional consultant who has an idea of how the system works and also someone who can write code for such applications and has an understanding of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning.

Cyber security

As India shifts to a cashless economy, cyber-threats are at a new high with the number of such incidents occurring in banking systems increasing. This calls for an increase in demand for cyber security professionals. They use innovative technology to combat hackers, cyber terrorists, network outages, and other technical problems that could compromise network security. There are lots of opportunities in government agencies and defense/aerospace firms for cyber security professionals. However, all kinds of companies are looking for cyber security professionals nowadays. You may get job as an Information Security Analyst, Software Security Engineer, Security Architect, Penetration Tester, Information Security Crime Investigator or a Forensic expert.

Certifications: If you already work in the field of cyber security, you know how important certifications can be. While they are certainly not the end all be all, and will not land you a job on their own, they carry a lot of weight, are definite resume boosters and are sometimes required for employment. Important certifications that those looking to make a career in cyber security should consider obtaining include:

CISSP: The Certified Information Systems Security Professional. If you want to work at the Department of Defense, obtaining your CISSP certification is a requirement. And it carries a lot of weight beyond the Dept. of Defense as well. By getting your CISSP certification you open the door to higher level positions and the possibility of increased pay.

CISM: Certified Information Security Manager. This certification focuses on governance, risk management and compliance.

CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor. This certification focuses on auditing, controlling, monitoring and assessing information systems and can add a significant pay boost to a cyber security professional's annual salary.

GIAC: Global Information Assurance Certification. This certification focuses on specialty hands-on technical capabilities such as intrusion detection and forensics among others.

CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker. For entry-level applicants, a CEH certification can be a great way to land your first job or get you into an entry-level position at your top choice company.

Financial/ Digital Literacy

To gravitate towards a cashless economy, there has to be a complete change of mindset in India. People have to start trusting other forms of transaction. RBI and many other premier banks conduct financial literacy programmes in the rural areas, especially. 

Targeted financial education programmes can improve financial skills and credit management, and increase account ownership. The RBI and finance ministry have made Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs) a cornerstone of the PMJDY. These centres provide tailored financial education programmes to introduce adults to banking products and setting financial goals. Well-publicised literacy activities conducted at the 1,400-odd FLCs will go a long way in realising the vision of a cashless-economy. So, if you have an understanding of the digital world and are willing to train, there are various job opportunities available for you.


If we have to move towards a digital economy, we also need to build an infrastructure around it. In 2014 (according to the  data available), there were 18 ATMs and 13 commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults. In comparison, the number in Brazil was 129 and 47, respectively. If we have to keep pace with the growing use of plastic currency, we need to step up the infrastructure in terms of ATMs in the rural and semi urban areas.This would mean an increase in jobs related to construction and infrastructure.

The road ahead

The path forward is clear. By 2020, nearly $500 billion worth of transactions in India will happen digitally, using online wallets and other digital-payment systems, 10 times the level currently, according to a report by Google India and The Boston Consulting Group.

Colleges offering BTech & MTech (Cyber Security)


  • GNA University, Phagwara, Punjab
  • University of Technology and Management - [UTM], Shillong
  • Raksha Shakti University - [RSU], Ahmedabad
  • Graphic Era University - [GEU], Dehradun
  • Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science - [HITS], Chennai


  • Cisco Networking Academy, USA is providing free online courses named as CyberSecurity Essentials.
  • Wilmington University, New Castle, Delaware is providing undergraduate and graduate degree programmes
  • Lewis University, Romeoville, IL is providing BA & BS degree programmes
  • Masterstudies, UK is providing MTech in Cyber Security programme
  • Mercy College, USA is providing BS And MS Cyber security programme
  • Cranfield University, UK, MSc degree in cybersSecurity
  • University of Salford, UK, MSc in cyber security.
  • St. Mary's University, USA, MSc degree in cyber security.

Universities that offer blockchain courses

  • George Mason University offers a master/phd level course "Blockchain Technologies"
  • University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign offers "Cryptocurrency Security"
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a course called "Shared public ledgers, cryptocurrencies"
  • New York University- USA
  • Duke University- USA
  • Princeton University- USA
  • Stanford University- USA
  • University of California- Berkeley- USA
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