<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Arun Yadav, a tea and omelette vendor in the national capital has begun to discover the many uses his newly-acquired. Smartphone can be put to. His first foray into the world of e-payments is particularly required after the government’s recent move to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. Now, Yadav, fondly known as Pappu to his customers, uses an e-wallet where they send him their payments. “Earlier, customers would buy eatables from me on credit for lack of loose cash. But now I get paid in full. In fact, I have already made around 15 to 16 transactions through it,” said Yadav who like so many others in Delhi, is an economic immigrant who moved here from Darbanga district in Bihar 15 years ago. Yadav is not the only vendor discovering the benefits of technology. E-wallet service providers such as Paytm, have claimed to have made around 8,00,000 offline merchants, including street vendors, grocers, paanwallahs and small-time businessmen across the country, tech savvy since the onset of demonetization.“We have had a surge in the number of those opening their accounts. Around eight lakh people from low-income groups ranging from momos, and tea sellers, to grocery store owners, have come on our platform,” said, Sonia Dhawan, Deputy General Manager (Marketing), Paytm.However, not all credit goes to Paytm. For example, a helpful and regular consumer helped Yadav open an e-wallet. In other cases, The National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) has come to the rescue of vendors across the country, helping them open and operate e-wallets. Arvind Jha, executive director, NASVI, told DNA the association has deputed teams of volunteers in all marketplaces to help vendors understand cashless payment. “As of now, we have around 120 street vendors across Delhi with us who have started using the online method of payment. Initially, they didn’t believe they would actually receive the money through these systems. But we organised meetings and encouraged them to explore these options instead of cribbing about the no-cash situation.” Jha told DNA. Rajesh Kumar, who sells momos in Lajpat Nagar’s central market is one of these vendors. “My son now checks the transactions done in the day for me. I have also asked my brother who has a kiosk of chhole-kulche (peas and flatbread) to get it as well,” said the 43-year-old Kumar, who hails from Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. Sanjay Sharma, who owns a small grocery store in Mayur Vihar-I, added, “I did not think of using debit-credit machines in my small business but now I receive e-payments even for a tray of eggs.”

Excerpt from – 

Vendors get street smart, go digital