Mobile wallets? It’s yes and no

On November 8, exactly two years after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetised, Metrolife went around MG Road and Church Street to see of mobile payments had caught on

November 8 marked the second anniversary of demonetisation. The use of applications like Paytm, PhonePe, Tez (Google Pay) was encouraged following the note ban, in 2016. They were to ensure fast, secure and reliable cashless payments through mobile phones.

Metrolife did a reality check in and around MG Road about whether digital payments have caught on over two years.

Most small traders are aware of mobile payment apps, but only a few of them accept them. Street vendors remain cash-only. and said they had no idea how digital payments worked. Here’s what they have to say.

Goggles vendor
Church Street

No, he doesn’t accept digital payments.

“If the government wants us to go cashless, it should equip us with smartphones too,” he says, showing us his basic Nokia phone.

He says he does not use any digital payment app. “I don’t even have a bank account,” he says.
His wares sell for between Rs 100 and Rs 500

Shoe Vendor
Church Street

Tanveer, who mans the shop, occasionally uses Paytm but prefers cash payments.

The prices are between Rs 200 and Rs 800

Mobile back cover Vendor
Indo Dubai Plaza

This is just off Brigade Road. The shopkeeper, who sells mobile covers, says he is no big fan of digital payments. “I don’t accept digital payments,” he says, “although some people ask.”

The prices are between Rs 100 and Rs 500

Laxmi Bangle Store
Off Church Street

Digital payments are welcome here. “People earlier were used to cash transactions. They now prefer card and mobile payments, and I am prepared for that,” he says.

The items range between Rs 100 and Rs 800

Watch and hats Vendor
Brigade Road

“Going cashless’ was a good move according to this watch store. The shop houses various articles including watches, sunglasses and hats. “I do not have to worry about returning the change now,” says the shopkeeper.

The price of the articles range between Rs 50 and Rs 600.

Provision Store
Off Brigade Road

The owner of the store revealed that note ban was the best occurrence in his entire career.

“We are among the very few vendors accepting mobile payments in and around Brigade Road, and that’s why many customers choose to shop here,” he says. Bills here typically range
from Rs 100 to Rs 3,000

Shoemaker
Off Brigade Road

Yes, this one accepts mobile payments, but only Paytm.

Push-cart vendors we ran into said they had suffered a dip in business two years ago, but had recovered. They only take cash.

Vegetable cart vendors
Off Brigade Road

Rukhsar, a street cart vegetable vendor hasn’t heard of mobile payment apps.

“The only payment I accept is cash. I live on daily wages. I can survive only if I receive cash,”she says.

Somanna, another vegetable cart vendor was familiar with the mobile payment apps. He told that he is comfortable with modern modes of payment and that he has been doing it for past one year.

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Mobile wallets? It’s yes and no

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