Today marks the first year anniversary of PM Narendra Modi’s dramatic announcement of demonetization. Till that year, I hadn’t quite known the existence of such a term. That currency notes could be withdrawn from circulation in an instant was an alien term to me. Till November 08, 2016. In this one year, volumes have been written on how this move impacted us Indians. While many were drastically impacted, others saw it as a necessary move to turn India from a cash-dependent country into a digital one.
As I write this post recollecting the last 12 months of my life, I don’t intend to delve into the politics of currency notes currently at play in India. There’s enough happening in the world of technology to keep me busy. Instead, this is simply about how I have steadily graduated from using rokda – or currency notes as it is referred to in my home city Mumbai – to using a bunch of apps and transacting digitally.
Part of my job requires me try out new apps. But I must admit, seldom has that compelled me to look at finance and banking-related apps. Mostly if there’s a new social phenomenon, then I’d be tracking it. So if there are any big new apps out there, chances are that I will have briefly used it. But on November 08, 2016 what I realized is that any app that let you transact with your friends and family suddenly became mainstream. This holds absolutely true for most payment apps that were suddenly pushed into the spotlight with demonetization. But testing these apps, and actually using them in my day-to-day life meant two different things. In my case, Modi’s announcement forced me to make these apps a part of my life. A year later, I find it difficult to uninstall them.
My digital transaction toolbox
One of the apps that has become a mainstay for me is the BHIM app. It’s existed prior to November 2016. But this new app by NPCI, has simplified my life to such an extent that I frown upon the thought of visiting a bank to transfer money. When it comes to sending or receiving money from people, you don’t need to ask anyone for a plethora of information and bank codes. Also gone are the days when you had to hand over cash to someone. DON’T MISS: How to get started with UPI apps and go cashless to beat the cash crunch
UPI has also been adopted by other payment platforms such as Paytm, Google Tez, and Truecaller to name a few. UPI’s popularity though is all set to soar when WhatsApp introduces its widely rumored payments feature.
Speaking of payment platforms, another app that has become a mainstay for me is Paytm. Be it settling bills, booking cabs, or even something as small as getting a haircut, Paytm is being widely accepted. Paytm QR codes are now found at the most unexpected of places from vegetable vendors to your neighborhood kirana stores. What began as an uber-need such as Uber, has now trickled down to the neighborhood grocer. What’s heartening to see is how quickly these shop owners have adopted this technology.
Matters have progressed at such a rapid pace that I no longer have to fret about leaving my wallet at home. As long as I have my smartphone on me, most of my payments can be handled with a few apps.
It’s not just me either, even hard stats back how India is fast adopting digital payment options. In October 2017, the value of digital payments recorded was Rs 99.3 lakh crore, which is a six percent year-over-year rise. If reports are to be believed, the government is now gearing up for phase two of digital payment push from January 2018. If you haven’t gone digital yet, I’d urge you to try out BHIM, and the vast list of digital payment opportunities available at your fingertips. I hope it alters your life for the good, as it did mine. RELATED: UPI transactions top 77 million in October: NPCI