Narendra Modi’s surprise move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes may have left businessmen shaken and many distraught, but one sector is certainly rejoicing.
Financial technology companies, who never thought this golden opportunity will fall their way, could experience no better time to be in business.
Cashless future is here, and Narendra Modi has given a Diwali bonus to fintech companies.
From Vijay Shekhar Sharma-backed Paytm, which is to launch its bank soon, to Kunal Shah’s Freecharge, all fintech companies rose to the occasion and are aggressively campaigning to take advantage of the opportunity.
Kunal Shah, the founder of Freecharge hailed Narendra Modi’s bold step and told Entrepreneur India that the move is a great step towards a responsible and corruption-free nation.
“Barring the short-term pains, this move will only do good to the nation. Bravo Modi!,” Shah said.
Companies are organizing vigorous tie ups with customers from all genres – from subziwalas to taxi-hailing apps – to expand business tie-ups.
With its tagline, Ab ATM Nahi, #Paytm Karo!, India’s largest mobile wallet company jumped on the opportunity to declare its platform saw a 435% increase in overall traffic as millions of consumers across India have taken to using their Paytm Wallets to transact offline.
“This is the biggest and most ambitious step ever to crack down on black money and fake currency. We stand by the government in its efforts towards taking black money out of the equation and offering a major boost to the Indian economy,” Paytm CFO Madhur Deora said in a press release.
A digital wallet refers to an electronic device that allows an individual to make electronic commerce transactions. This can include purchasing items on-line with a computer or using a smartphone to purchase something at a store. An individual's bank account can also be linked to the digital wallet.
By the use of mobile wallets, customers can virtually pay using a smartphone just by scanning their QR code or entering their mobile number.
Narendra Modi’s vision for a Digital India has grown wings overnight with the demonetization of INR 500 and INR 1000 currency notes.
Indians are now expected to use digital payments system for services starting from utility payments to payments at grocery outlets, food and beverage stores, local tea/vegetable vendors.
Another popular payment wallet MobiKwik said it registered a 40 percent growth in app downloads within 18 hours of Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000 notes pullout.
“Yesterday, was a landmark day for the digital payments industry. Given the bold steps by the government, the industry is now poised to become one of the largest contributors to the Indian economy and drive a cashless revolution,” co-founder of MobiKwik said.
MobiKwik counts merchants including Big Bazaar, Big Basket, Grofers, Ezone, Dominos, Croma among its partners.
How many other players will this move attract remains to be seen. For now, we can say – Cashless future is here and here to stay.