The vision of Digital India is incomplete without digital transactions.
In the past few years, our country has leapfrogged in the digital sector with usage of mobile phones and internet data becoming commonplace. But when it comes to doing digital payments, India falls far behind most developed countries. In fact 90% of the transactions in India today are cash-based.
How do we change an age-old practice of cash-based transactions?
How do we make citizens realise the importance of digital payment for individuals and for the country?
How do we make citizens take that first step when it is viewed as a technological barrier?
These are a few questions that plagued the MobileWallet team when they decided to launch their product in smaller towns and rural India.
As a pilot project, the MobileWallet team adopted Hazira town in Surat district. The town consists of an industrial belt and is also home to Essar’s 10 million tonne integrated steel plant and 30 million tonne port. The population in the town primarily comprises plant employees, factory workers and the townsfolk. The needs and spending habits of each segment are unique, and the challenges of making them adopt the practice of transacting digitally also vary.
To kickstart the process, the MobileWallet team developed customised workshops for each section of Hazira’s population. The workshops raised awareness about the importance of using digital transactions and how they lead to security, responsible spending and agent-less money transfers, benefitting citizens in the long run. Local vendors were given a demonstration of how they could use The MobileWallet and how simple it was to sync their businesses to digital payments. Through the workshops, the team also gathered insights on how cashless transactions could be facilitated at various places, like payments made in school canteens and office cafeterias, etc.
All the local vendors in Hazira have now started accepting digital payments through the MobileWallet app. More than 3,000 citizens of the town have also become active advocates of this mode of transaction. With the team’s concerted effort, Hazira will soon be among the pioneers to realise the vision of a cashless India.
So, the next time you pay a visit to Hazira, remember to transact digitally… even if you are buying only a candy!