Adjusting to a cash crunch and, in the process, lending a push to the government’s e-payment agenda, roadside vendors in SAS Nagar have already shifted to transactions through digital wallets. Be it a vendor selling groundnut (moongfali), a tea vendor, or a food-stall owner, they have made the transition gradually over the past month, ever since the demonetisation of older Rs 500 and 1,000 notes took 85% of the currency out of circulation in the country.
“The announcement last month had come as a blow to business that largely depend on cash,” said Sunil Choubey, a tea-stall owner in Phase 8 (industrial area). “I first opted to allow my regular customers to defer making payments. But that was making survival difficult. It was a customer who suggested I use PayTM, a digital wallet.”
How does it work? Most digital wallets (also known as mobile wallets or e-wallets) let you create an account on their mobile application or on website with basic details, and you generate a scannable QR code. You can take a printout of the code (or use ones given by the firm), which can be scanned by customers using the same app on their phones, and the money is transferred from their digital wallet to yours. After that, you can simply shift the money to your bank account.
Representatives of several e-wallet providers are approaching vendors. No extra charges are being levied at present, say vendors.
“The digital wallets allows people to make payments for smaller denomination as well. I have been using it for about 15 days, and it also saves the trouble of keeping ‘change’,” added Choubey, who has made several fellow vendors to opt for cashless transactions.
“Going to the bank means losing a day of work, and even standing in queues does not guarantee you money. I just that the shop from where I buy grocery also starts using the e-wallet,” said Bhola, a samosa vendor.
“The company’s people came and told me how to use the digital wallet. Also, these days, many people come with the Rs 2,000 notes. How could I arrange so much change since our sale value is not that big per transaction,” said Rahul Kumar, a juice-cart owner in the same area.
“In the last one month, there were days when I had to manage by eating roti with chutney as I had no money to buy ration. For almost two weeks after the demonetisation, there was virtually no sale. But, now, clients are coming back,” added Anirudh Shah, who sells groundnuts worth about Rs 2,000 per day.