Rural areas in Pune witness surge in non-cash payments

The rural areas of Pune have always been cash-intensive for normal transactions.

Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune | Published: December 23, 2016 12:04 am

One of the effects of the ongoing cash crunch is the increased usage of debit cards and cheques in Pune’s rural areas, as the traditional methods of payment have taken a backseat.

Senior officials of the Pune District Central Cooperative Bank (PDCCB) said they also have plans to introduce point of sales (PoS) machines at various rural outlets to help the cash-strapped rural areas turn to non-cash payment methods.

The rural areas of Pune have always been cash-intensive for normal transactions.

The PDCCB, with 82 branches and over 10 lakh customers, has the largest rural presence in the district. While the bank has issued debit cards to all customers, their usage had been limited.

Since demonetisation was introduced, as many as 8,000-9,000 cards are being used in the ATMs of other banks on a daily basis. Similarly, 1,500-1,800 cards are being swiped at petrol pumps on a daily basis since the note ban. Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), another non-traditional way of banking, has seen a significant rise, with 8,000 such operations carried out daily, said bank officials, adding that before demonetisation, only 2000-3000 such transactions were seen.

The usage of cheques in financial transactions has doubled, with 12,000 such transactions happening on a daily basis after the note ban.On the PDCCB app, launched in September, only basic functions are being allowed. Plans are underway to launch a Bharat bill payment system, through the app, to pay for basic utilities.

Bank officials said they were also going to issue third party PoS machines, adding, “These machines will help small rural business enterprises go cash-less”.

Micro ATMs, installed at the 1,000 primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACSs), allow basic functions such as checking balance, pin change and cash withdrawal.

Plans are underway to provide such machines to all the 1,289 PACS in the district, which would be connected via the core banking system software.

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