Demonetisation blues are still not over but long queues at banks are hard to find. Though bankers were expecting a huge rush in the new year, they now say that an increasing number of people are switching to digital payment and are better prepared to beat the pay day pangs.
The great Indian jugaad has also been called into play. For instance, Ashish Vijay, a resident of Sarita Vihar, paid his maid’s salary by transferring ₹2,500 to the account of her landlord. “She has to give ₹5,000 as rent. I got the idea from a friend who did the same,” he said. Similarly, to overcome the crunch, Gunjan Vijay, a resident of Jasola, took cash from her relative, who runs an Aadhaar Crad enrolment centre, and returned it through an online bank transaction.
A senior official of Corporation bank in North Delhi said, “When demonetization was announced on November 8, several people had not even withdrawn their November salary. This led to long queues on pay days in December. “But the queues became unusually small in January. We were expecting some rush at least in the first week of the month. But Delhiites were prepared for the second pay day. It seems that an increasing number of people have switched to internet banking, e-wallet and other digital platforms.”
An official spokesperson of Axis Bank said the bank has been adding 1,500 small merchants (customers) on digital platform daily over the past one month. This is three times more than the numbers before demonetization, he added. “Our debit card transaction volume has increased by 137% after demonetization,” he said. Though, the bank has not prepared any Delhi specific data, but the trend will be proportionately similar, he said. A senior official of Yes Bank also said that the volume of online transaction has increased by three times.
Bankers believe that thinner queues in the last two weeks of December could have also been because people were not left with much money as they had withdrawn in advance to meet the pay day rush.