The number of people using digital payment mode has increased during the lockdown. Due to the fear of the infection of Covid-19, locals are opting for cashless transaction whenever possible. According to a Sahastradhara Road grocery store owner Ritupal Garg, “I ask every person who shops here to pay me through their cards or online wallets. Earlier, the digital transaction was only about 30 to 35 per cent. But now more than 60 per cent people pay me through cards or apps, while the remaining use cash. I keep the cash received from the customers in a separate box and spray sanitiser over the money and then open it after 24 hours. I cannot shut my business but I can avoid touching the cash for at least one day. It might do nothing, but it is the best I can do to sterilise the paper currency and coins.”
A Raipur Road shopkeeper Trilok Varma said that his customers prefer to pay through digital money wallets than cash but it does cause some problems too. “Sometimes digital payment takes time to reflect in your bank account. Due to this, a customer has to wait for the transaction confirmation. It consumes the time of seller too. I tell them that I do not have any issue with cash payment but most of them refuse to pay in cash stating that they do not have enough cash. There has been about 30 per cent increase in digital transaction in my shop this month,” added Varma
According to another shopkeeper Yogesh Yadav, people are choosing cashless transactions because they do not want to go to ATMs and stand in line and face more infection risk.
However, many store owners opined that people are not willingly paying through digital payment modes. According to them, people are paying because of compulsion and helplessness. “I understand that some people might want contactless transaction and deliveries. But many of them do it because they have no other options. Several people still prefer paying in cash but they do not have time to withdraw money due to the limited access to ATMs. They are still not comfortable with digital transaction, especially the old people,” said local store owner Mohammad Zaid. However, the percentage of people paying digitally has not increased much yet in smaller shops. “Only about two or three people pay through card or apps out of about 30 people in a day. Many people still find it difficult to trust cashless transaction. They prefer to pay and get paid in cash. Some people have enough money in their bank account and have smartphones too but they call me at night to recharge their mobile number and then pay me the next day,” said Pritam Singh, a local store owner near Karnpur.
Monday, 18 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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