Hyderabad: The fact that demonetisation has changed the way people transact and do business is a known fact, but in a way it has also changed the way people in rural areas do business.
The DigiDhan mela organised in the city on Wednesday saw not only banks and financial institutions setting up stalls but also saw many mobile wallets and online payments solutions. Most of these wallets are of the view that the next leg of digital revolution is set to come from the hinterlands of the country.
Hyderabad-based Paynear Solutions has seen a 12 times rise in its sales since demonetisation came into place and the most of the sales of its handheld device is happening in the rural areas. The company with its device helps shopkeepers and businesses accept card payments without the need to buy point-of-sale (PoS) machine. “The PoS machines are costlier and require more regulations in comparison to our device so we are definitely seeing more traction from the rural areas in comparison to their metro counterparts,” a Paynear executive told Telangana Today.
Other wallets like Oxigen and mWallet were also of the view that with the government promoting cashless transactions many rural businessmen are looking at online wallets and digital payments solutions. The mela also witnessed farmers from Mahabubnagar and Nizamabad seeking information on online payments for their regular purchases like seeds and fertilisers.
In addition, the digital transactions per se have gone up by about 40-50 per cent post demonetisation. So as to push the transactions in rural areas digital transactions is being pushed via feature phones as well, informed an executive. Other than this the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) is also promoting Aadhar-enabled payment solutions (AEPS) through which customer can just use their fingerprint to send and receive money.
This apart, the Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA) which started Digithon programme in 2015 is planning digital literacy programme in 100 villages in Telangana in the next one year. It has seen a rise among the rural masses towards digital literacy since demonetisation came into place.
“As part of the curriculum we teach them how to use online banking, watsapp, pay train and bus tickets, search on google maps and we also teach MS office and Excel,” said Venkata Vanam, Global Working Committee, TITA.