Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, people have been forced to stand in long queues outside banks and ATMs to withdraw, exchange or deposit their old notes and get the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes.
Many citizens are short of cash, but there are ways you can beat the cash crunch. You need to reduce your usage of cash and shift to digital modes of payment and use fintech innovation to beat the cash crunch.
Mobile wallet: You could use a mobile wallet app to beat the cash crunch. All you need to do is download a mobile wallet app on your phone, transfer cash from your bank account to the wallet and begin using it. You can point your mobile at a QR code at a shop, scan it and enter the amount that needs to be paid and pay through the app.
There is just one problem: Different merchants accept payments from different wallets. But an app like Woohoo can help you solve this problem as it allows you to make payments at retailers that accept wallets, like Oxigen, Citrus Cash and PayuMoney, besides being able to pay at retail establishments that Woohoo has partnered with.
Accept payments via mobile wallets: Businessmen also need to begin accepting payments through mobile wallets and make sure that the merchant's wallet is KYC compliant in case cash of a large amount needs to be received. "Once the wallet is KYC-compliant, a merchant can accept payments up to Rs 1 lakh," Chairman and Managing Director of Oxigen Services India Pramod Saxena told the Business Standard.
Merchants need to use the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for limitless transfer of money from the wallet to a bank account. Wallet provider FreeCharge has waived both the set-up fee and transaction commission for a limited period for new merchants
Use micro-ATMs: IDFC Bank and Oxigen offer micro-ATMs in case you wish deposit old currency notes and avoid long queues at the same time. These ATMs accept old currency notes from customers irrespective of the bank they have an account in. All you need is your Aadhaar Card and you are sorted. They also allow customers from all banks to withdraw money as well as open new accounts.
"Provided you have an Aadhaar card, we can open a bank account within four minutes, in a totally paperless manner," IDFC Bank official told the daily. Migrants who have an Aadhaar Card but not a bank account can use micro ATMs. However, there is a shortage of micro ATMs in the country.
Find a functional ATM near you: A personal finance app called Walnut can save you the effort of looking for ATMs that have cash and are not crowded especially past midnight.
After a customer receives a message from his bank following a withdrawal from an ATM, the information is shared with the app. The app then asks the customer which bank ATM it was and whether the queue was long or short, the information of which is shared with all users of the app.
"The ATM's location is shown on a map. If the colour is green, it indicates that it was used within the past one hour," Anurag Sinha, co-founder and chief business officer of Walnut, told Business Standard.
Alternatives to cash-on-delivery: Cash-on-delivery has now become difficult for customers due to the cash crunch. FeeCharge and Snapdeal are currently offering "wallet on delivery" which means that you can pay for your Snapdeal product using your FeeCharge wallet once you receive it. You can also use credit or debit cards to make payments.
Currently, eBay and Oxigen have joined hands to offer retail-assisted e-commerce service which means that customers, who don't have access to net banking, debit or credit card can go to an Oxigen-enabled store equipped with micro-ATMs. They can deposit their old notes and place an order on eBay.
Use virtual and prepaid cards: You can also use a virtual card that you usually get if you are a bank customer. But Oxigen allows customers to create a Visa card without availing the bank route thereby increasing payment options online.