Over the last eight to ten years, the growth of digital payments in India has been phenomenal — it has helped the country break its dependence on cash and focus on digital transactions in metros, cities, rural areas.
Digital payments are expected to continue penetrating the Indian economy in the coming years, with digital payments volumes expected to quadruple by 2027.
However, cash too is still widely used in the country. There are a huge number of ATMs installed across India for withdrawals.
Features and denominations of Indian money
The word "rupee" originated from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. The INR came into circulation after the partition of India in 1947; the smaller denominations then were annas. Later, in 1961, one rupee became equal to 100 paisa.
Currently, the Indian currency operates on a floating exchange rate system and is not pegged to the dollar or any other currency.
Paper notes are issued in denominations of:
- 5 ₹
- 10 ₹
- 20 ₹
- 50 ₹
- 100 ₹
- 200 ₹
- 500 ₹
- 2000 ₹
Notably, the reverse side of the banknotes shows the value in fifteen world languages, while the main side shows the value in English and Hindi. The banknote design is regularly updated to encompass different strands of India's vast culture.
The country's metal coins are minted in denominations of 10, 20, 25 and 50 paise, 1, 2 and 5 rupees.
Throughout its existence, the rupee has been subject to all sorts of controls and limits on convertibility. For example, foreigners are prohibited from importing or exporting rupees, and residents of India are allowed to import or export only a small amount of rupees.
How to recognise fake INR cash
India's economy has been cash-only for a long time, fuelling the proliferation of counterfeit currency. The Reserve Bank of India had to change and update banknotes more than once, adding new security features.
Nevertheless, the circulation of counterfeit notes still remains a problem. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to recognise fake cash rupees to protect yourself from legal problems and financial losses.
Here are a few key points to look out for:
- The protective vertical thread. It changes colour at different angles, and the note's denomination is also printed on it.
- Watermark. Bringing the banknote to the light, check the presence of the image of Mahatma Gandhi and the nominal value of the banknote. It should be clear and not blurred.
- Microprinting. Details that are visible only under a magnifying glass. They should be clear, representing letters in English and Hindi.
- Relief printing.
- Quality of printing and paper. Original notes have clear lines and bright colours. They are printed on cotton paper (75% cotton, 25% linen).
- Each banknote must have a unique serial number.
The easiest way to recognise a fake is to compare the banknote with an exactly genuine one (e.g. one received in a bank).
Be very careful with this because if you receive counterfeit money, there is no way to exchange it for real money.