The inventors of the internet, Mr. Vintron Cerf, and Mr. Robert Kahn started out by using it as a network or a medium for exchanging works of research between different American universities. Little did they know that one day the internet would replace many of the regular day-to-day routine work that was required to be done manually by people till about two decades ago. Thing like transferring money from one bank account to another or to recharge and pay utility bills like water, gas, etc.! It was with the discovery of the World Wide Web (WWW) by Tim Berners-Lee in the 1990s and the HTML coding system that started simultaneously that internet carved the real path of growth for itself.
As per a study conducted by American Express and Nielson in six major cities of India, it was found that 98% of internet users used the online medium for shopping and about 95% used the internet to transfer money, book tickets and send emails. The survey also concluded that three out of four people used the internet to pay their bills or recharge utility services online. People residing in the metropolitan cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai were averse to the idea of standing in queues for paying their electricity or other utility bills and hence preferred the online method of recharging and settling bills.
The main behind this preference of Indians to shop online, recharge and pay bills online is because of the good deals and discounts that one gets to enjoy when doing so. About 40% of the respondents liked the cashback deals and hence conducted most of their routine work of paying bills online. It was also concluded that virtual shopping occupied the first place amongst Indians spending time and money online, paying utility bills came a close second.
The Internet has now reached the majority of urban India and some parts of rural India too making recharge easy. A research conducted on the reach of the internet to urban and rural India shows that the internet penetration in metropolitan cities till December 2017 was 64.84 % whereas in rural India it stood at 20.26%. This reveals the vast disparity on the internet and its services being of use to the urban and rural masses in India. Government data shows that against 182.9 million internet users in cities and towns there were only 98 million users in the villages of India. This, in turn, shows that the facility of being able to carry out routine work of bill payments and bank related work is mostly happening in the urban areas. In the urban areas too there is a vast disparity between internet users in metro and the non-metro cities. About 35% of internet users in India reside in the top 9 cities of the country which means that the online facility of being able to recharge and pay bills is concentrated mainly in these nine cities of the country. Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata topped the list for the highest internet users in India.