At groundnut festival, vendors say yes to mobile payment

Hawkers transacting in small changes are beginning to accept payment on paytm, if the few peanut sellers at the annual 'Kadalekai Parishe' are any evidence.

Groundnut sellers converged here may not have boldly brandished the paytm logo showing their readiness to embrace the future, but a few had no qualms in going digital.

"No problem. We accept all kinds of payments," Govindaraj, a groundnut seller from Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, declared with a big smile when visitors whipped out their mobile phones instead of wallets.

"I have not attached my mobile number to my bank account, but I can ask my brother to receive payment on mobile phone."

Two other hawkers from Mysuru, who flashed the paytm logo prominently on their stalls, stressed on the need to change with the times.

"Most college students who visit the fair would like to pay through paytm," said one of them, who had put up his eatery at the Parishe for the first time.

The fair was robbed of its usual zest in 2016, as it opened just days after the sudden demonetization initiative by the central government. Venders who had put up their stalls struggled to transact without steady flow of cash and coins, as long queues formed before banks to collect new currency notes.

Meenakshi, a regular to the fair, recalled the struggles of breaking the Rs 2000 notes bandied about by the customers last year. "The Dodda Ganapati temple helped us with the change," Meenakshi said. "We are aware of the mobile payment option this year, but we would like to play it safe by accepting only cash."

Moreover, housewives, who make up the largest chunk of visitors to Kadalakai Parishe besides school and college kids, prefer to pay by cash, reasoned another vendor for sticking by the traditional mode of payment.

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