Cashless is not worthless!Saurabh Suman
Recently heard Cashless is Worthless in a political rally by the state leader of West Bengal! And it ignited in me the need to present this cashless conversation!
Me: Ki dada, Paytm neben?
Shopkeeper: Eita worthless!
Me: Hain?? Seki?? Ki kore?
Shopkeeper: Arey.. Sunlen na? Eita Worthless!
Me: Hello Sir, will you accept payment through Paytm?
Me: Why? You have the Paytm Sticker!
Shopkeeper: It's worthless!
Me: What? Surprisingly: How come?
Shopkeeper: You have not heard or what? It's Worthless!
Pity on the shopkeeper with the Paytm sticker & pity on the customer like me, for going through this ordeal. Even though it was available. It was certainly possible to be accepted. Just because there’s a small flag of a political party was hanging up, this guy was ready to lose his business.
I visited recently to the Dumdum Cantonment area, near Chetna Cinema Hall! Within 3 Days of demonetization announced, Paytm started acquiring these road side shopkeepers into Paytm network. Whether its juice wala, kirana wala or even Phuchka wala, they all have Paytm Stickers!
My point of visiting was to find out acceptance over the acquisition drive. And this was the first case from a Kirana store, next to Axis Bank Atm at Chetna Cinema hall.
Dumdum cantonment has a big un-organized vegetable & grocery market called Gorabazar. Sell is not less than 3-5 crore daily from this unorganized market & this place is heavily dominated with the mix of Bengali & Bihari community. The local councilors committee has good % of Bihari domain, who are living here for more than five decades! You will find people doing most of the transactions in cash & there is no record of those transactions.
Few of years back a big fire broke out in the same market. The Shopkeepers reportedly had not made much loss in articles than the cash which was stashed in the bamboo of their thatched kiosk! Shopkeeper’s used the mechanism of converting five hundred rupees note into one 500 rupees note, and then they used to park that note into those bamboo holes! One guy who died of heart attack, because he lost 15 lakh rupees of those 500 & 1000 rupees note into that fire.
The pity is, the place has big number of banks. You name the bank and it has its branch. SBI, ICICI, AXIS, HDFC, IDBI, UBI, UCO, BANDHAN BANK, etc.
And using the cash in hand mechanism & then depositing it into the bank should not have been a big pain. But just to avoid the taxes & not to open a bank account, this unorganised market has, for decades, been operating fully on cash & not contributing into the mainstream.
With the current heat of demonetization, the shopkeepers who used to make 10-15 thousand a day are not making more than 3 - 4 thousand now.
I am sure these guys should be understanding it now, that cashless is not worthless! Customer has money in their account. And even have the medium of making the payment with either Paytm/Card or even cheques! But for that, you need to join the cashless economy drive. You will have to join the organised mechanism and the fact that, it's not a fearsome thing, has to be communicated.
Communication is the key! And thus if the state leader talking Cashless if Worthless, its not taking things to any right direction.
The total Card penetration in India is above 25 Mn in credit segment & over 662 Mn in debit segment. The only thing which is losing up the pace is to match up with value of the transactions. According to RBI, the total card spend on credit card in 15-16 has been 786 Mn on Credit card & 1.2 Bn on debit cards. 40% of the total transaction is cashless in India. And there is surge in cashless transactions which could be seen in the RBI’s transaction report for 2015-16 & this number is quoted at 49.5%, which includes, internet banking, mobile payments & card payments.
Until the cash based unorganized segments doesn’t add up to this growing volume, the economic cycle wont give out the much needed pace towards growth & development.
Cashless Drive through demonetization is going to pace up the same & it will alarm those un-organized segments to join the mainstream & the total CRR of the banking system will increase. It will impact the overall growth & government shall be able to work out on the major issues of growth.
Cashless is not worthless! Let’s communicate it & share it among everyone else we know near us, who are not in mainstream.
To read the last Cashless Conversation in Bihar please follow the link: https://yourstory.com/2016/11/educating-indians-the-cashless-way/