The buildings which once wore a deserted outlook were revamped and modified to suit the taste of its occupant, whenever a new in charge came in. Nothing stays as-is for long, isn’t it? Well, the new look of these government buildings were not only getting a makeover, they were shaping new policies which were going to have a huge impact on everyone. Who would have thought, that for over 2 years the government was planning a massive change, but only a handful of people were made aware of it. The secrecy with which they worked speaks of its volume; now that the policy is out in the open – fight against corruption. So they say!
The timing at which the announcement was made could not have been planned any better. Most of the people had come back from work and were either watching TV or having dinner. The remaining were either travelling back or almost on the verge of leaving work. Moreover, there was a big event going on which was being closely followed by people around the world: the US elections. So any impact on the market would have no trace to this news, or have the least impact whatsoever.
So why was all this so important?
There was a huge uproar around the country as the government had demonetised the high value denominations, INR 500 and INR 1,000. There were steps which the government suggested and wanted to implement, however these step fell short of all the preparation and planning when they came out in public. As you would expect majority of people to react, they panicked! Boy oh boy, and this panic spread like a contagious disease. Everybody was so restless and anxious about days to come. From daily commuter to wage earner to salaried people to business people, people were still trying to get in to their senses and come to terms with what they had witnessed a minutes before. The mothers, ladies, and housewives were worried about the groceries and everyday expenses. While other people were worried about the cash which they not declared or is unaccounted for. Even people who had the money from genuine source and for a genuine cause, knew it would be difficult for them for few days, as they would have to exchange old notes for new ones.
Well, it wasn’t that tough to do as you would need to visit the branch and get the cash exchanged or deposited in your account. But, it’s elusive when everybody decides to walk up to bank on the same day and at the same time, and especially when the banks had to deal with so many people with so less staff and very less time to prepare for this type of challenge.
Keep wondering people, yeah everyone is so lost in their own problems that they fail to look at the bigger picture. While this had become a hot topic of discussion for people travelling in public transport, employees in shared cabs or cars, people sitting out in cafeterias, hawkers, and just about everyone; there were people who started working 24 x 7 and analysing the best way to tap on this open space which had opened up ocean of opportunity. Haven’t you heard – human mind is so complex that the moment these restriction were put to curb illegal businesses and cash flow, people started worked on decoding ways to get around them. Who wants to play legal when they have worked their entire life by not being legal, aye?
Well… there was one business which saw a huge potential and a legal way of growing: mobile payments. Their version – helping the country to become digital while giving them a platform to carry out transactions, cash free! The big guns like PayTM, Freecharge, and others, charged with the Make in India tag, were quick to grab this opportunity. A little bit of more spending towards marketing and they were set for a large chunk of returns.
Is this bad?
This is not at all bad for me or anyone else. If someone is providing any service to us, he is free to charge or not charge us. In this case, these companies are providing a platform for us to be cashless and yet be able to make transactions. Transfer the money from your own account and then use it for various purposes from buying milk to paying utilities bills to plan your travel. With the surge in smartphone use, it has become very easy for any layman to use these apps. From banks to (mobile payment app) software companies there are many options available and you can use one or more of them based on your comfort and choice. It may seem like a boon for these mobile payment companies, however the platform which they provide will be beneficial for people who do not want to manage money through their bank accounts only, while have a medium to be able to pay for daily expenses. The best part is no more carrying cash or card and be fearless about forgetting the card pin.
“Within five years, half of today’s smartphone users will be using their phones and mobile wallets as their preferred method for payments.” ~ Peter Olynick said in 2012
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