Demonetisation: Digital India Gets a Boost in Cash Crunch
It’s been a week since the Prime Minister shocked the entire nation with his sudden announcement of ‘Demonetisation’. Ever since, a sense of panic and confusion is erupting among citizens. India currently, is witnessing and going through an economic transition. Various views-reviews, allegations-counter allegations are coming in every now and then. Among all these, one corner is quietly, slowly and steadily rising higher and higher. And i.e. Digital India.
The so far quintessential digitally-spooked Common Man is keeping aside his wad of cash and signing up for e-payments and mobile wallets. At a time when a common man is facing tremendous snags and difficulties standing in long queues outside banks to exchange or deposit money in the wake of Centre’s sudden move of demonetisation, there is no choice left as of now, but to pick cashless money options.
‘Aam Aadmi’ has always been relying upon and habitual of using cash option to buy daily need grocery items, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables, medicines etc. But, with the sudden announcement of this scheme in addition to its poor handling and mismanagement have left a common man out of cash, with no option left but to choose cashless methods of transaction.
Payment processing companies are overloaded and are racing to accommodate the immense rise in traffic. What worked out perfectly for the payment processing companies and ‘Online Market’ is the fact that they had recently geared up their back-end infrastructure to deal with the Diwali traffic, in addition to the impending Christmas-sales volumes. Grocery Stores, Cabs services all are going digital. Big Basket, Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, ebay, the list is endless now.
The Paytm platform saw an overwhelming 435 percent increase in overall traffic over the last two days, and the company experienced a 1000 percent growth in money added to wallet and a 400 percent growth in transaction value of offline payments. Madhur Deora, CFO – Paytm says, “This is the biggest and the most ambitious step ever to crack down on black money and fake currency. We stand by the government in its efforts towards taking black money out of the equation and offering a major boost to the Indian economy.” Paytm has been ramping up its customer and acquisition efforts as it is realizing the benefits of the strong positive network effect and its diverse use-cases.
Monu, a tea seller in R.K. Puram area, has begun using Paytm as part of his daily business to help his customers enjoy the tea without worrying about change. Monu believes that by using this service, he is doing his bit to help the people and support government’s initiative of demonetisation. “I have recently started using Paytm because there is crunch of change.
This step helps my customers as they can easily pay through the service and enjoy their tea without any worries. Ever since I have started this service, my customers are increasing. Accepting online payments even for as less as Rs. 7 is my way of helping the people and showing support for demonetisation,” says Monu.
His customers are happy about the fact that their favourite tea seller has gone digital as it helps them immensely. “Tea stalls are using Paytm. This is beneficial for us at this point of time when there is crunch of change. We now don’t have to worry because of this initiative,” says Joymala, a daily customer.
Another customer Shashank also showered praise on the tea seller for this great gesture. “Paying for tea online is a big help considering the current cash shortage,” he says. Monu’s tale stands out, as his case appears to be one of the rare ones supporting the Centre’s move to demonetise 500 and 1000-rupee currency notes, but this tea vendor’s attitude to embrace the change rather than fight is nothing short of inspiration.
One of India’s biggest Cab Services, Ola Cabs have come out with an option of Ola Money. Ola Money reported over 1500 percent increase in recharges across the 102 cities of its operation since 8:30 PM on 8th November 2016 till 12:00 PM. Talking about the shift in economy, Pallav Singh, SVP & Head – Ola Money, says “This move marks the beginning of a significant step towards a cashless economy and Ola Money is at the forefront of our vision of a Digital India.”
Manilal Prajapati, a cable operator in a remote village of Akodara, Ahmedabad, collects his monthly cable bill with just a few clicks on his mobile phone. His mobile phone is linked to his bank account and money is instantly transferred to his account. It is India’s first ‘digital village’ where most of the families fall back on e-banking for everything – from buying milk to biscuits – through their mobile phones. All they have to do is to follow a small standard procedure through phone banking. In Akodara, the local dairy cooperation has stopped making cash payments since last year. It also transfers money to the accounts of the farmers, saving the huge time of the administration of handling huge volumes of cash.
In 2015 the village with a small population of 1,200 was adopted by the ICICI Bank as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign. It has transformed the village into one with few parallels. “Unlike other bank branches in the rest of the country, there is no rush here. It’s business as usual for us,” says bank manager Pratik Panchal. Demonetisation triggered tremors were felt across the nation resulting in scarcity of cash across the country. But the remote village with a low population is calm.