You can soon buy your vegetables, fruits, your favourite paan and even the road-side chaat food through Paytm, Mobikwik, Freecharge or JioMoney, as the cash crunch in the system forces the informal sector to adopt newer routes. Most of the installations for such a system are being promoted by the companies themselves.
Kabir, a coconut vendor in Vile Parle, a suburb in Mumbai, said that the mobile wallet company people registered the application on his phone, with a QR code. “Unhone kaha ki ab chiller ki zarurat nahi padegi. Pehle meri income ek din mey Rs 4000 hoti thi, uss din (November 9) ke baad Rs 1500 ho gayi kyu ki mujhe customers ko mana karna padta tha purane notes ki wajah se. Aur ab main Rs 500 ya Rs 2000 ka chhutta kaha se lau? (The company told me I need not worry about change. Since November 9, my daily income had reduced from Rs 4,000 to Rs 1,500 because I had to refuse some customers with old notes and now I don’t have change for the new Rs 500 and 2000 notes).”
He said that he also paid his electricity bill, gas booking amount, mobile recharge and bough dry fruits for his kids through the mobile wallet.
Mobile or e-wallet companies and banks with mobile wallets are reaching out to many like Kabir in the informal retailers in order to cash on the non-availability of small money in the hands of public at large.
After the demonetisation where the government scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes as legal tender from November 9, Paytm has enhanced its task force from 2,000 to 5,000 and plan to increase it to 10,000 in the coming months. Mobikwik went even more aggressive by fielding close to 12,000 people, up from 1,000 earlier.
Upasana Taku, co-founder at Mobikwik said, “We launched a campaign called “mobikwik hai na” and increased our campaign to all cities, went for advertisements as the user sentiment to adopt to the mobile channel is very high. Froma street hawker to a dhaaba owner, a sabjiwala to a samosa wala have been enrolled now. For them finer processes need to be easy, we are making them aware of it. We will be spending Rs 25 crore till December as investments till December on this.”
Mobikwik saw a 120 times jump in the offline merchant transactions. Paytm, a wallet company soon to be a payment bank, witnessed an increase in their retailer base to 10 lakh from 8.5 lakh in just a fortnight. Such companies have increased their task force to capture to as many people as possible to high chance of adaptability.
Sonia Dhawan-DGM (marketing), Paytm said, “We have increased our task force from 2,000 to 5,000 now after demonetization announcement. We are trying to reach out to all possible retailers. We received a lot of requests through emails, social media and Whatsapp that we had to channelize this opportunity. We are giving advertisements in print, radios and putting them up at the shops and the vendors’ locations.”
Paytm has also introduced ‘Nearby’ feature allowing users to easily scan for merchants available near them that will accept wallet transaction.