The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) announced a tie up with Indian Mobile Wallet major, MobiKwik on Thursdayto help street vendors overcome the obstacles caused by demonetisation. NASVI co-founder Arbind Singh said that he hoped to make the process of digital transaction easy for street vendors facing the cash crunch.
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Co-founder of MobiKwik, Upasana Taku said, “We will train 10 lakh street vendors in 3 months to enable them to transact digitally. MobiKwik payments will soon be accepted by 30 lakh street vendors in 25 states.” Taku also talked about the launch of MobiKwik’s lighter version of the app ‘MobiKwik Lite’ having various Indian languages such as Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil etc which would allow smaller unorganised retailers and shop keepers to accept payments with integration of digital payment. “Being an app with less than 1MB, MobiKwik Lite will address the under-served smartphone users in the country who undergo challenges of slow data connectivity. This is the biggest impediment and thus are unable to access digital payments easily,” she said.
With the next edition of the street food festival hosted by NASVI around the corner, the two companies will use the platform to express the vision of their newly formed partnership. Arbind Singh said, “Just like we train unskilled street vendors at our food festival on how to take care of hygiene and sell in a way to attract more customers, in our training module we are teaching street vendors to use the MobiKwik e-wallet and create consumer awareness programs. To improve security, with regard to transactions we shall verify phone numbers, track IDs and use fraud detection.”
MobiKwik would also be launching a new feature phone for digital payments for online and offline merchants. Upasana said she was not in line to rival other mobile wallet companies such as PayTm, FreeCharge, Airtel Money and Oxigen Wallet. She said MobiKwik has a license to run e-wallet from the RBI since 2013.
While various merchants and consumers are showing trends of picking up digital transactions, the bigger question is if it is going to be a trend or just a way to fight the cash crunch.