Kolkata: For many traders, it’s back to cash as digital payment trend ends

Arun Bhuwalka, president of a textile body, said 60 per cent of transactions are made in cash

Written by SANTANU CHOWDHURY | Kolkata | Published:November 8, 2017 1:33 am

Nealy a year after the Centre’s demonetisation drive, which was aimed at pushing the country towards a cashless economy, many traders and shopwners in the city said customers have gone back to making cash payments.

“Due to unavailability of cash following the Centre’s announcement to invalidate old denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, there was an urgency among customers to use digital medium to make payments. The situation remained same till April this year. When the situation became normal, customers gone back to their old habit of making cash payments,” said Ganesh Agarwal, a shop owner at New Market.

“We had to provide our customers digital payment options overnight. For some time, people were only opting for Paytm transactions. But now, we don’t see customers going for such methods of payment,” said a garment seller at Burrabazar.

Several shops at various markets displays stickers saying “Paytm Accepted Here”. Some shopowners said their businesses benefit from allowing multiple modes of payment.

“We accept card, cash and Paytm transactions. Our customers are either paying bill through card or cash. In the last few months, customers made payments mostly by cash,” said Sunil Arora, manager of Ralli’s Restaurant at Esplanade.

According to Arun Bhuwalka, president of the Chamber of Textile Trade & Industry (COTTI), 60 per cent transactions are made in cash while 40 per cent are made online. “The move did not receive spontaneous response from traders, as literacy was not there. Traders are also preferring cash payments,” Bhuwalka added.

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