[S]ix villages in India are the first to go cashless. This means all adults have bank accounts, use SMS-based banking and plastic money while businesses use swipe machines for cashless transactions. Banks are also linking their Aadhaar cards to accounts to ensure benefits gets transferred directly to the beneficiaries.
The Aadhaar card is like our Social Security card, only more so: it’s based on biometrics, and 99 percent of the population has already been signed up.
[W]hat if the internet etc fails? Floods, electrical brownouts, typhoons, landslides are common, alas.
Anything that’s SMS-based, cell phones can carry: it’s the same technology that runs text messages. But cell-phone technology isn’t always 100 percent either.