Consumers in India are increasingly shifting towards digital platforms to buy and sell gold ever since the government banned the use of large-value bank notes in 2016.
19-year-old Noordeep Singh from Amritsar in India’s northern state of Punjab had never in his wildest dreams thought he could afford to buy gold at such a young age.
The tech-savvy student who often reviews smart phone applications for his local fans on social media made his life's first investment in the precious yellow metal through the Indian digital wallet company, Paytm.
While the gold in Mr Singh’s account is barely worth a little more than $60, he is ecstatic that he has at least managed to step into the market.
Speaking to SBS Punjabi, an excited Mr Singh said, “I can’t believe that I have just stepped out of high school and I already own gold. I’m thinking of gifting it to my mom on her birthday in September”.
"It's convenient, secure and affordable to buy gold online", adds Mr Singh.
One of India’s top digital payments platforms, Paytm had launched its gold offering that enables users to buy, store and sell gold digitally in April 2017.
The application which allows customers to purchase gold for as little as $0.02 claims it has already sold over a 100 kg of gold and is clocking in a 100 per cent month on month growth ever since its launch.
Gold purchased through the app is physically deposited into a secured vault free of cost and is fully insured at all times.
Paytm’s success has set the stage for the entry of foreign players who too are now eyeing to tap into India’s $34 billion gold market which is second only to China in the world.
Recently, a Sydney based mobile application-‘SendGold’ launched its operations in India and claims to have received a thumping response.
Apart from facilitating digital trading and storage of gold, the platform also allows buyers to trade and transfer it overseas.
“When we made a low-key launch into the Indian market earlier this year, we had over 30,000 Facebook likes in less than 48 hours, and India is now our highest growth market"-Jodi Stanton, CEO, SendGold
While most of the gold changes hands in India in a traditional face-to-face way, Akash Jindal, a financial analyst based in New Delhi feels there is an enormous growth potential in the online gold market and is perhaps the future of the industry.
“Indians are slowly, but surely getting used to online transactions…when they can buy real estate and diamonds online, then why not gold ?”-Akash Jindal, Financial analyst.
India's love affair with the precious yellow metal is an old one. Indian families splurge on gold both as an ornament and an asset-a practice that is entrenched in the country's centuries old traditions is an integral part of weddings, rituals and festivities.
According to the World Gold Council, total Indian gold demand which stood at 727 tons in 2017 is expected to rise to 800 tons in 2018.