Monday, 17 July 2017

बीता वक़्त


तकलीफ़ तो उसे भी हुई होगी
तकलीफ़ हमे देकर
आज़ाद तो वो भी ना हुई होगी
आज़ादी हमे देकर

मालूम नहीं कोन से शहर में उसने अपना घर बसाया है
मालूम नहीं कोन से शहर में उसने अपना घर बसाया है
दिल होता तो पूछ लेते ज़नाब थोड़ी सी रिश्वत देकर

छुपा लेता हूँ वो बाज़ू जिस पर उसका ज़िक्र है
छुपा लेता हूँ वो सियाही हुई बाजु जिस पर उसका ज़िक्र है
अश्को में पढ़ लेती है उसका नाम दुनिया
जिसमे अभी भी उसकी थोड़ी सी फ़िक्र है

इश्क कोन करता था उससे जो आशिक़ हमे नाम दे दिया
इश्क कोन करता था उससे जो दुनिया ने आशिक़ हमे नाम दे दिया
हम तो पूजा करते थे उसकी
और उसने नास्तिक हमे बना दिया



Monday, 14 November 2016

Termination Ballad


When I die,
Dig my grave in the mountain,
Where my body don’t feel the polluted pain.
When I die,
Don’t arrange my fourth-day farewell,
If any relative wants it, sincerely tell him “Go to Hell”.
When I die,
Leave some vegetable seeds as my desolation hosts,
I’ll surely provide them my body’s healthful compost.
When I die,
Sing me a “What a Wonderful World” song,
I want to hear this from you for so much long.
When I die,
Propose her on behalf of me,
If she say yes,
Plant red rose on my grave for a hungry bee.
When I die,
Don’t engrave my only name on 6 feet land,
I want my grave buddy to come and tie me a friendship band.
When I die,
Bequeath my eyes,
I want a blind to see a world of lies…

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

"The things I am scared of"


"Not the people but the mind,
Not the storm but the silence,
Not the answer but the question,
Not the result but the reason,
I am scared of."

"Not the real but the dream,
Not the moment but the memory,
Not the lie but the truth,
Not the death but the life,
I am scared of."

"Not the end but the start,
Not the stranger but the known,
Not the hate but the love,
Not the world but the me,
I am scared of."

Source: Everyone has a story.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

भूल गई वो

भूल गई वो 
समंदर किनारे की ठंडी मीट्टी को 
इज़हार की हुई मेरी लिखी चिठ्ठी को  

खुले आसमान के नीचे 
मिलन की रातों को 
जलते अलाव में की हुई सर्द बातों को.

भूल गई वो 
पहली रात का बिस्तर
उस पर बिछी गुलाब की पत्तिओं को 
निखरती जवानी की महकती  सिस्कीओं को 

उस बगीचे के फूलों को 
जंग लग चुके हमारे झूलों को 

भूल गई वो 
हमारे सावन की पहली बारिश को 
टूटे तारे से मांगी हुई हमारी ख़्वाइश को 

आँगन में खिले गेंदे की महक को 
मधुमखिओं का उनसे चुम्बन 
सुबह होती चिडिओं की चहक को 

भूल गई वो सब 
पिछले पत्तझड की एक रात को
खिड़की पे टांग चली गई वो 
मेरे सहमे जज़्बात को.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Ek baar



Khule neele aasman ke neeche,
Rona hai ek baar

Pipal Ki thandi chaaon me,
Chain Ki neend sona hai ek baar

Ek muskuraata hiranmaya dekhkar,
Taaron Ki maala ko pirona hai ek baar

Khushboodaar phool ki talaash me,
Nanha podha bona hai ek baar

Tez baarish me,
Apne Nange badan ko dhona hai ek baar

Kamaya huya saara dhan,
Sab khona hai ek baar

Nange paav ko chalti nadi me,
Kuch der bhigona hai ek baar

Mashooka ka dia gum,
Kisi gehre dariya me dubona hai ek baar

Kabar k thande bistar pe lete huye,
Yakeen rakhna hai hume,
Ye sab hona hai ek baar..

(Kisi khushnuma chowk me besharmi se khade hokar,
Marijuana peena hai ek baar)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Husna - Piyush Mishra


Lahore ke uss
Pehle jile ke
Do pargana mein pahunche

Resham gali ki
Dooje kuche ke
Chauthe makaan mein pahunche

Aur kehte hai jisko
Dooja mulk uss
Pakistan mein pahunche

Likhta hun khat mein
Hindustan se
Pehlu e Husna mein pahunche
O Husna

Main to hun baitha
O Husna meri
Yaadon purani mein khoya

Main to hun baitha
O Husna meri
Yaadon purani mein khoya

Pal pal ko ginta
Pal pal ko chunta
Beeti kahani mein khoya
Patte jab jhadte Hindustan mein
Yaadien tumhari ye bolein
Hota ujala, Hindustan mein, batein tumhari ye bolein
O Husnaa meri yeh to batado
Hota hai aisa kya
Uss gulistan mein
Rehti ho nanhee kabutar see gum tum jahaan
O Husna

Patte kya jhadte hain Pakistan mein
Vaise hi jaise jhadte yahaan
O Husna

Hota ujala kya vaisa hi hai
Jaisa hota Hindustan mein haan
O Husna

Woh heeron ke ranjhe
Ke nagmein mujhko
Ab tak aa aake sataien
Woh Bulley Shah ki
Takriro ki, jheene jheene saaye
Woh Id ki iddi
Lambi namazey
Seyvaiyon ki jhaale
Woh Diwali key diye sang mein
Baisakhi ke badal
Holi ki woh lakdi jinmein
Sang sang aanch lagai
Lohdi ka woh dhuan jis mein
Dhadkhan hai sulgai
O Husna meri ye toh batado
Lohdi ka dhuan kya ab bhi nikalta hai
Jaisa nilkalta tha uss daur mein vahaan
O Husna

Dhuan mein gulstan yeh barbaad ho raha hai
Ik rang sya kaala, ejad ho raha hai
Dhuan mein gulstan yeh barbaad ho raha hai
Ik rang sya kaala, ejad ho raha hai
Dhuan mein gulstan yeh barbaad ho raha hai
Ik rang sya kaala, ejad ho raha hai
Ke heeron ke ranjhon ke
Nagmein kya ab bhi
Sune jaate hai haan vahaan
O Husna

Aur rota hai raaton mein
Pakistan kya vaise hi jaise Hindustan
O Husna

Vo Kaam Bhala Kya Kaam Huya - Piyush Mishra

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jis kaam ka bhoja sir pe ho
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jis ishq ka charcha ghar pe ho

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jisme na jaan ragadti ho
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jisme na baat bigadti ho

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jisme saala dil roz aaye
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jo asaani se ho jaye

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jo mazaa na de whisky ka
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jisme na mauka siski ka

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jiski na shakal ibaadat ho
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jiski darkaar izaazat ho

vo kaam bhala kya kaam huya
jo kahe ghum or thag le abe (be-imaani)
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jo kahe chum or bhag le re

vo kaam bhala ka kaam huya
jisme na thasak sikander ki
vo ishq bhala kya ishq huya
jisme na tharak andar ki

Friday, 20 November 2015

तू किसी रेल सी गुज़रती है

   

तू किसी रेल सी गुज़रती है
मैं किसी पुल सा थरथराता हूँ

एक जंगल है तेरी आंखों में
जहाँ मैं राह भूल जाता हूँ

तू भलें रत्ती भर न सुनती है
में तेरा नाम बुदबुदाता हूँ

किसी लम्बे सफ़र की राहों में
तुझे अलाव सा जलाता हूँ

एक बाजू कट गई जब से
और ज्यादा वज़न उठाता हूँ

मैं तुजे भूलने की कोशिश में
और कितने करीब पाता हूँ

कौन ये फासले निभाएगा
मैं फ़रिश्ता हूँ
सच बताता हूँ

तू किसी रेल सी गुज़रती है
मैं किसी पुल सा थरथराता हूँ




Source- Masaan and Dushyant Kumar

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

खिड़की खुली थी














खिड़की खुली थी
तुम्हारे इंतज़ार में
उडीक रही तुम्हारी एक झलक
सावन की बहार में

तुम न आई
दीमक उसे खा रही थी
बेल की पत्तो से ढक्की हुई
मौत की बाहों में वो समा रही थी

चाँद देखती वो हर रात
उससे करती रहती वो तुम्हारी बात
बादल आते ही डर जाती थी वो
न तुम नज़र आती न चाँद से बात कर पाती थी वो

वसंत भी गई
पतझड़ भी गया
जिस दौर तुम उसकी दोस्त थी
वो दौर गया तो कहाँ गया

कुछ ज़ज्बात तुम्हे बताना चाहती थी वो
तुम्हे साथ लिए पुराने दौर को दोहराना चाहती थी वो

खुली थी वो तुम्हारे इंतज़ार में
तुम न आई कोई भी बहार में

  

Monday, 21 September 2015

Helicopter Parenting and Indian Kids










The term ‘Helicopter’ is specially derived from our sweet homes. This is something which is not unique in our families. This is the main reason why our kids are not creative and fearless. The simple meaning of “helicopter” in this article is “Chhepu”. Now you can understand what I am trying to say.
 If a girl wants to be a model and boy wants to be the part of start-up, this is simply a last moment of their lives with their parents. And suppose the child is atheist.

Don’t imagine the situation please.

This is the main reason why we don’t have start-ups in India; this is the reason why porn is most popular in teenagers and adults. They can only imagine sex and masturbate coz sex before marriage is crime in Indian society. No matter this is the thing which removes most of your stress.

(Marriage is only a legal license to have sex)

If the kids of our family want to go Vaishno Devi or Vrindavan, they are the best kids and if somebody wants to go Goa, this is the crime.
No matter the kids are interested in God or not. They are forced to do RadheRadhe on Janamashtmi and Jai Bajrangbaliki on every Tuesday.
In our homes, the channels like Sab TV, Sony,etc are used to be watched and still I don’t know how Splits villa got 2-3 Millions views on YouTube after each episode.

Now these are the results of Helicopter Parenting:
  • ·       The kids become dumb as they don’t allow expressing their any kind of feelings in front of anybody. (Especially Girls in India)
  • ·       The ghost of failure is always in their minds.
  • ·       Watching porn and masturbation is at the top after puberty.
  • ·       And AIB videos became popular among kids.


Let’s explain “Helicopter Parents” with some short stories:-

Story one – Once a boy was studying in school and he was very good in sports but his father didn't allow him to pursue his interest because he thinks:
”His child has to play in hot summer days and in winter days too. Or he has to spend an extra time in school for sports.”
But he is very happy to see playing Virat Kohli and always taunts him.
“Cricketer hi ban jata”

Story two – One day the same boy from story one told his parents.
He wants to attend ten day meditation course away from home. (Now he is 21 years old)
And here is the best answer.
“Don’t you dare to go away from us for ten days? You know I am sick and sometimes I feel this is my last days and you know places like this have reptiles and many insects. They are very dangerous for you and BLAH! BLAH! BLAH!(Emotional Atayachar continues).” At the end he has to say NO.

Story three - Some days back I was at home and my aunt came in and she saw our new AC and suddenly she said I am very happy to see AC in your home. We always want “Saademunde AC vich e rehan.”
At that time many questions rises to my mind
-      What is success means to them?
-      Why they only want their kids to live in only AC?
-      Why they don’t think creative and so as their children?

Story four – Another story from my relatives. I visited to my aunt’s home last week. As usual she was busy in beating and yelling at their kids (Girl who is 13 and boy who is 5). I asked her why you yell at them every time. She said” This girl is dumb. She has a small brain, she is fat, she doesn't study, and she doesn't want to go to tuitions. What should I do?”
When I looked at my sister, I assume she needs a work out in the form of yoga or swimming, etc. I suggest her mom to do that and also got a shocking answer.
“I don’t want my baby to go outside early in the morning. She is very sensitive and childish.”

(Please don’t laugh. It’s a serious topic.)

She want good results but without effort. She doesn't want to play their kids in dust.
Again the boom of questions comes to my mind.
  • -      Why our boys not allowed to drink alcohol in front of our parents
  • -      Why our parents are becoming so conservative
  • -      Why they are expecting money from their children and they call it success.

No matter their child is happy or not, they want money and obviously “Humara beta AC me rahe”.

Story five - One of my friends got a stone in kidney. Last week I stayed with him for two hours and I heard only one line again and again for 2 hours.
“Take your medicine on time. Have you taken your medicine?”
 And he is 24.

Story six – One of my brothers is not allowed to sleep alone because his parents think
How do we know our kid is covering his body with blanket himself or not?
(This line always makes me laugh and also my favorite character of helicopter parents)

I’ve got a millions of stories like this but seriously the helicopter parenting is the main reason why our kids are as scared. And obviously the other reason is shitty non-creative educational institutions.

(NOTE: I can’t explain “Helicopter Parents” properly otherwise I’ll become the most wanted criminal by Indian (Helicopter) Parents)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

ਪੁਰਾਨੇ ਖੇਡ : ਕਿਥੇ ਗਏ

       

ਇਹ ਸਿਰਲੇਖ ਮੈ ਕੁਛ ਆਪਬੀਤੀ ਕਹਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਰੂਪ ਵਿਚ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਾਂਝਾ ਕਰਨਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
ਜਦੋ ਮੈ ਛੋਟਾ ਸੀ ਇਕ ਦਿਨ ਮੈ ਕੁਛ ਆਪਣੇ ਪੁਰਾਣੇ ਖਿਡੋਣੇ ਲਭ ਰਿਹਾ ਸੀ। ਓਹ ਲਭਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਮੇਨੂ ਕੁਛ ਗੀਟੇ ਲਭੇ।
ਮੈ ਆਪਣੀ ਬੇਬੇ ਨੂ ਪੁਚੇਆ "ਬੇਬੇ ਇਹ ਕੀ ਹੈ?"
ਬੇਬੇ ਨੇ ਮੁਸ੍ਕੁਰਾਂਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਜਵਾਬ ਦਿਤਾ " ਕਾਕਾ ਇਹ ਗੀਟੇ ਨੇ!"
ਮੈ ਪੁਚੇਆ "ਓਹ ਕੀ ਹੁੰਦੇ ਨੇ?"
ਬੇਬੇ ਕੇਹੰਦੀ "ਜਦੋ ਆਪਾਂ ਛੋਟੇ ਸੀ ਤੇ ਗੱਲੀ ਮਹੱਲੇ ਵਿਚ ਕੁੜੀਆਂ ਇਹ ਖੇਡ ਦੀਆਂ ਸੀ।"
ਇਹ ਗਲ ਸੁਨ ਕੇ ਮੈਂ ਬੜਾ ਏ ਉਤਾਵਲਾ ਹੋ ਕੇ ਬੇਬੇ ਨੂ ਕਹ  ਬੈਠਾ "ਮੈਨੂ ਵੀ ਇਹ ਖੇਡਕੇ ਦਸੋ।" 
ਪਰ ਬੇਬੇ ਨੇ ਮੈਨੂ ਗੁੱਸਾ ਹੋਕੇ ਬਿਠਾ ਦਿਤਾ। ਪਰ ਉਸ ਖੇਡ ਨੂ ਜਾਨਣ ਦੀ ਉਤਸੁਕਤਾ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਦਰੋ ਖਤਮ ਨਾ ਹੋਈ। ਸਮੇ ਬੀਤਦਾ ਗਿਆ ਤੇ ਮੈ ਹੋਲੀ - ਹੋਲੀ ਇਹ ਚੀਜ਼ ਭੁਲਦਾ ਗਿਆ। 
ਕੁਛ ਦਿਨ ਪੇਹ੍ਲਾਂ ਮੈ ਜਲੰਧਰ ਤੋ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਨੂ ਰੇਲ ਗੱਡੀ ਦੇ ਵਿਚ ਆ ਰਿਆ ਸੀ। ਕਰਤਾਪੁਰ ਪਹੁੰਚਣ ਤੇ ਅਚਾਨਕ ਹੀ ਸਾਡੀ ਰੇਲ ਗੱਡੀ ਖਰਾਬ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਤੇ ਕੁਛ ਬੰਦੇ ਆ ਕੇ ਕਹੰਦੇ ਕੀ ਗੱਡੀ ਨੂ ਠੀਕ ਹੁੰਦੇਆ ਸਮੇ ਲਗੁਗਾ। ਤੇ ਇਹ ਸੁਨ ਕ ਮੈ ਟ੍ਰੈਨ ਵਿਚ ਹੀ ਸੋ ਗਿਆ।
ਕੁਛ ਦੇਰ ਮਗਰੋ ਮੇਰੀ ਅਖ ਖੁਲੀ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰੋਂ ਕੁਛ ਕੁੜੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ਼ਾਂ ਆ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਸਨ। ਮੈ ਬਾਹਰ ਨਿਕਲ ਕੇ ਦੇਖਿਆ ਤੇ ਕੁਛ ਪਿੰਡ ਦੀਆਂ ਮੁਟਿਆਰਾਂ ਪੂੰਜੇ ਬੇਹ ਕ ਪੱਕੇ ਵੱਟੇ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਖੇਲ ਖੇਲ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਸਨ ਤੇ ਲੋਕ ਤਾਲਿਆਂ  ਮਾਰ ਰਹੇ ਸਨ। ਮੈ ਇਕ ਬੁਜੁਰਗ ਕੋਲੋ ਪੁਛੇਆ "ਏ ਕੀ ਕਰ ਰਹੀਆਂ ਨੇ?"
ਬੁਜੁਰਗ ਨੇ ਹਸਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਦਸਿਆ "ਏਸ ਖੇਡ ਨੂ ਗੀਟੇ ਕੇਹਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ" 
ਓਸ ਵੇਹਲੇ ਮੇਰੇ ਅੰਦਰ ਗਿੱਟੇਆਂ ਨੂ ਲੇਕੇ ਜੇਹ੍ਰ੍ਰੀ ਬੇਚਾਨੀ ਚਲਦੀ ਪਾਈ ਸੀ ਓਹ ਸ਼ਾਂਤ ਹੋ ਗਈ। ਮੈ ਕਾਫੀ ਦੇਰ ਓਹਨਾ ਨੂ ਦੇਖਦਾ ਰਿਆ ! ਓਹ ਕੁੜੀਆਂ ਆਪਣੇ ਪੈਰਾਂ ਭਾਰ ਇਕ ਘੰਟੇ ਤੋ ਵੀ ਜਾਦਾ ਬੈਠੀਆਂ ਰਹਿਆ ਤੇ ਥਕ ਵੀ ਨਹੀ ਸੀ ਰਹੀਆ। 
ਇਕ ਦਮ ਟ੍ਰੈਨ ਦੀ ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਆਈ ਤੇ ਸਾਰੇ ਭਜ ਕੇ ਟ੍ਰੈਨ ਵਿਚ ਚਲ ਪਏ।
ਮੈ ਪੂਰਾ ਰਸਤਾ ਇਹ ਸੋਚਦਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਕੇ ਸਾਡੇ ਪੁਰਾਣੇ ਖੇਡ ਕਿਥੇ ਚਲੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ? 
ਕਿਥੇ ਹੈ ਬਂਟੇ ?
ਕਿਥੇ ਹੈ ਗਿੱਟੇ?
ਕਿਥੇ ਹੈ ਗੁੱਲੀ ਡੰਡਾ?
ਕਿਥੇ ਹੈ ਪਿਠ੍ਹੁ-ਕਰਮ, ਲੁਕਣ-ਮੀਚੀ?
ਕਿਥੇ ਗਏ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਖੇਡ? 
ਕੇਓ ਸ਼ੇਹਰਾ ਵਿਚ ਇਹ ਖੇਡਾਂ ਨੂ ਅਜਕਲ ਨਹੀ ਖੇਡੀਆ ਜਾਂਦਾ? 
ਇਹ ਸੋਚਦੇ ਸੋਚਦੇ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤਸਰ ਆ ਗਿਆ ਤੇ ਮੇਰੀ ਕੁਛ ਛੋਟੇ ਬਚ੍ਹੇ, ਜਵਾਨ ਮੁੰਡੇ, ਕੁੜੀਆਂ ਤੇ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਪਈ ਤੇ ਓਹਨਾ ਦੇ ਕੰਨਾ ਵਿਚ ਕੁਛ ਤਾਰਾਂ ਨਜ਼ਰ ਆਈਆਂ ਤੇ ਕੁਛ ਦਾ ਧਿਆਨ ਆਪਣੇ ਫੋਨਾ ਵਲ ਸੀ ! ਮੇਨੂ ਸਾਰਾ ਕਾਰਨ ਪਤਾ ਲਗ ਗਿਆ ਤੇ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਮੇਰੇ ਫੋਨ ਵਿਚੋ ਆਵਾਜ਼ ਆਈ- 
New Whatsapp Message.!



ਤੇ ਮੈ ਹੱਸ ਕ ਘਰ ਨੂ ਤੁਰ ਪਿਆ।

कल एक रात आई थी

                        

कल एक रात आई थी, 
वो रात एक बात लायी थी,
उस बात में तुम्हारी बात थी,
कुछ अफ़सोस भरी, पुरानी यादें भरी,
बड़ी अजीब सी वो रात थी...!

चाँद था,
पर बादलों के पीछे,
हम तुम्हे याद कर रहे थे,
पर आंसुओं के नीचे,
तुम्हारा चेहरा देख रहे थे,
पर आँखें मीचे.
हमारा मन लिए जा रही वो पीछे पीछे...!

उस रात का जिक्र किससे करें,
तुम्हारी लिए हुई बेचानी की फ़िक्र किससे करें,
न जाने कल वो अजीब रात क्यों आई थी,
और तुम्हे अपने साथ क्यों लाई थी..!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

What The hell is going on?

What The hell is going on?


This article is very close to me and maybe it has an offensive impact on Indian parents. When I was in some mature stage of my life and able to execute some tough things. From that time I was listening from others that this kid wants to become a dancer but parents are against him/her. And yesterday I was watching IGT, over 90% semi finalists were saying that their parents don't support them. I want to know what is going wrong with Indian minds. Why they are not saying to their kids
“Do whatever you want.”
“Don't be afraid of your failure”
The only thing they are saying to their kids is
Get a job!
Get a job!
Get a job!
Even if child says I want to be a dancer, cricketer, etc. Why they don't encourage their kids.
Few days back I said to my father that I want to join guitar classes and his answer was horrible and also in typical Punjabi.
“Aya vadda rockstar, pehle padd likh ta le”
And many worst things. I mean why?
Why he is saying such bad things to me?
He is my father and why he is discouraging me?
He always wants best for me and why he is saying this?
There are many more examples.
Even my cousin is just three
And his routine is 6:30 – 2:30 School and 3.30 - 6.30 coaching classes (please remember he is 3) and everybody says
“He is very active”
“He can do kushti and any other sport with success”
And where sports are in his daily routine?
Study!
Study!
Study!
Every parent says “Three idiots is very good film”
My question is why you are not implementing this thing on your own kids?
They are saying only one thing to their kids
“You are slave and you are born to be just slave.”
Even if you work in MNC
You are a slave.
And when I look at these things deeply I always thought


इतने सारे चेहरे




इतने सारे चेहरे है
और तनहा सब के सब
तेरे शहर का काम है चलना
युही बेमतलब
चेहरों के इस मेले में
अपना कोई मिलने दो ना
सोने दो
ख्वाब बोने दो
रात को धीरे धीरे चलने दो ना.!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Technology Repaints the Payment Landscape


Source - www.technologyreview.com
In developed economies, money has been digitizing for decades. Few Westerners touch a paycheck anymore. Through direct deposit, digital money is transferred electronically from our employer to our bank account every pay period. A similar process moves contributions into our 401(k) accounts or zaps money over to pay the rent, the utility bill, a student loan, or any other expense.
Yet it remains a cash-based world, with 85 percent of consumer transactions worldwide done with bills and coins. While some countries, like Singapore and the Netherlands, now use cash in a minority of payments, consumers in such diverse economies as India, Mexico, Italy, and Taiwan still execute more than 90 percent of transactions with cash, according to research by MasterCard Advisors. Even in the United States, they find, cash accounts for 55 percent of payments. New technologies, including digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, and mobile peer-to-peer payments, aim to tip that balance. They’re accelerating the move away from cash in countries where alternatives to banks and credit cards are well established, and they’re doing the same in developing economies.
Which technologies and companies are likely to lead this transformation is the big question for this Business Report.
One way to look at these new technologies is through their relationship with the long-established payment services. Some technologies, including the mobile wallets Apple Pay and LoopPay, run on top of the existing payment networks owned and operated by banks and credit card companies. The new technologies are designed to make those established systems faster, more convenient, or more secure, and to convert transactions now being done in cash. A different group of technologies would replace the established systems with new ones, fundamentally challenging the vast industry that executes, guarantees, and tracks payments. Among them: Venmo, a person-to-person payment app and social network that processes $3 billion of payments a year, and Dwolla, an upstart in Iowa looking to cut the payment-processing revenue enjoyed by Visa and other networks.
As technology drives a shift in how we buy things, the revenue that the payments industry extracts could grow to more than $2 trillion a year by 2023, double the 2013 figure, the Boston Consulting Group predicts. Much of that increase will come from a reduction in cash payments in developing countries. But across the globe, BCG predicts a time of “disruption and opportunity” driven by digital technologies that will require the existing credit card system to prove that it’s better than its new competition.
“The smartphone is the catalyst for a lot of change in this industry,” says Dana Stalder, a venture capitalist with Matrix Partners and a former eBay and ­PayPal executive now on the board of Poynt, which recently introduced a smart credit card terminal. Venture capitalists invested over $2 billion in payment technology firms between January 2013 and June 2014, according to the data tracking firm CB Insights.

However, established players, especially the banks and credit card companies that handle most noncash payments today, have, if anything, seen their positions strengthened by recent developments. A good example is the high-profile launch of Apple Pay. Unlike earlier technologies like Google Wallet and PayPal, Apple Pay makes no attempt to supplant the Visas and Bank of Americas of the world. Look at your digital wallet in Apple Pay and you see a version of exactly the same card as in the wallet in your pocket. The digital wallet LoopPay, which can be used in many more terminals than Apple Pay because it uses a simple, widely compatible copper loop technology to simulate the coding in your credit card’s magnetic strip, similarly relies on the existing credit card system.
“Think about the infrastructure and how long it took to create that,” says ­LoopPay CEO Will Wang Graylin. “It’s very difficult to change merchant behavior.”
Innovation in payments might be especially likely to take hold in the developing world, where cash is still king. Leapfrogging ATMs and checks the same way they have skipped over landlines and cable, whole chunks of population are moving straight from cash to mobile money. M-Pesa, which has become a force in Kenya and Tanzania, has turned money into a cellular currency that can be converted into airtime or used to pay for things. Today, some 60 percent of Kenyan adults have used a mobile phone to receive or send payments.
What could derail the boom in payment technologies?
Security concerns. The consulting firm Accenture recently surveyed 4,000 consumers in North America and found that while more people expect to use mobile payments, 57 percent of respondents were concerned about the security of such transactions. That’s up from 45 percent two years ago.
New approaches could help. Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and others utilize a system that creates a one-time digital token for each transaction and sends that, rather than a customer’s credit card information, through the system.
Innovations like this show that mobile payments—even if they don’t lead to a radical shake-up—are improving a global payment ecosystem that’s long been due for an upgrade.