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While the government has been pushing for cashless transactions following the demonetisation move, traders and owners of retail outlets in the city who account for large number of transactions in smaller denominations say they prefer cash to cashless payments for such business. When contacted for their response, traders engaged in various sectors largely said e-payments may be used for customers who make bulk purchases. But, they said, it was not practical to provide cashless facility for businesses involving smaller transactions which are undertaken on a large scale. The Centre on November 8 announced the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and has since been encouraging payments made through cards and electronic-wallets. "The vegetable market here alone does about Rs four crore of business per day. I have to pay the vendors who bring vegetables from all parts of State. They can pay back to smaller retailers and farmers only if I pay them in cash. So when there are multiple persons involved, cash is a preferred mode", Koyambedu Vegetable Market Association, Vice-President, S Chandran told PTI. Similarly, an official of supermarket in the city said customers have been requested to purchase minimum value of Rs 100 - Rs 150 if they are making card payments. "We have instructed our personnel in supermarkets to accept card payments if the bill value is above Rs 150. I think some outlets have reduced it to at least Rs 100.
The simple reason is that there is no margin for us if we allow a customer to pay through cards if bill value is less than Rs 100", he said. However, an industry official, when contacted, said payments made through e-wallets were possible even if the bill value is Rs 10 but that it was a long way to go in terms of acceptance among the customers to make such payments through e-wallets. "If a customer has to recharge his prepaid mobile, it can be paid through several companies that offer e-wallet service. It is possible even for a minimum bill value of Rs 10. But, doing transactions through wallets for such small payments has not reached the masses unlike payments made through credit or debit cards", he added. Meanwhile, long queues continue to be seen at banks and ATMs today after a two day holiday, as reports emerged that tonnes of Rs 500 notes worth several crores reached Chennai last Friday in order to meet the demand. As banking transactions halted on Saturday and Sunday being holidays, people were seen standing in long queues at banks and ATMs. For those customers who were waiting at the Reserve Bank of India office in Chennai, it was a delight as many received the newly printed Rs 500 notes. "I was standing here for 45 minutes. I wanted to exchange my Rs 2000 old notes at RBI. I received four newly printed Rs 500 notes in return" a customer said. However, a RBI official declined to comment when asked whether huge consignments of new Rs 500 notes have arrived in Tamil Nadu in order to meet the demand.
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