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Friday, Dec 06, 2019

Digital India: No need to worry about carrying cash at this Patiala village

chandigarh Updated: Nov 21, 2019 06:04 IST
Harmandeep Singh
Harmandeep Singh
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
A street food vendor receiving payment through digital method at Gajju Majra village, near Patiala, on Wednesday.
A street food vendor receiving payment through digital method at Gajju Majra village, near Patiala, on Wednesday.(BHARAT BHUSHAN/HT)

If you are visiting Gajju Majra village, located around 30km from the district headquarters and running out of cash, you don’t have to worry about making payments. Every shopkeeper here is accepting digital payments.

Even the street food vendors in the village are accepting payments through digital platforms. The uneducated visitors and residents of the village can also be seen paying digitally using thumb impression. They pay through Aadhaar-enabled payment systems. The village has even been declared as the first digital village of Punjab.

There are around 15 shopkeepers in the village, including owners of general stores and barber shops. They have all adopted Aadhaar-enabled payment modes. To back their initiative, the State Bank of India has provided them thumb-impression reading devises so that anyone having a bank account linked with their Aadhaar number can make digital payments.

Vikramjeet Singh, 34, who sells fast food near the local government school, said, “I have downloaded YONO, a mobile application of the SBI, and linked my bank account with it as directed by the bank. The bank officials have also given me a thumb-impression reading devise. The customers now simply have to put their thumb on the devise and tell me their aadhaar card number to make payments.”

“I earn around ₹2,500 everyday and of that, I receive payment of over ₹700-800 through digital transactions. It helps me in saving some money,” he added.

Tarsem Singh, 54, who runs a general store in the village along with his son, said, “People even make payments of amounts as small as ₹10 through digital payment methods. However, it is only possible when my son is present at the store as I am uneducated and don’t know how to use these methods.”

Amit Kumar Sinha, manager of the SBI’s branch situated in the village, said, “We adopted this village two month back to make it fully digital. The shopkeepers have started accepting digital payments, but there is still lack of awareness among people. We are now focusing on launching awareness drives at the village on regular basis.”