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Plastic money gaining currency in rural Odisha

Press Trust of India  |  Kendraprara (Odisha) 

Small traders, shopkeepers and vendors in rural pockets of Odisha's Kendrapara district have taken up plastic money post and are increasingly using debit cards beyond just ATM withdrawals.

There has been a spurt in the search for point of sale (POS) electronic devices by small-time traders in a bid to shore up their daily sale.

Nationalised banks in general and private banks in particular are flooded with applications for such devices as traders feel the pinch of the ongoing crisis.

"We are coming across customers seeking usage for to buy goods from us," said Rabindra Behera, a variety storeowner in Pattamundai, who has submitted an application seeking installation of the machine.

The storeowner said he had learnt about the operation procedure of the POS device and electronic transfer of money from his "The officials have assured me to provide me with the device shortly," he added.

Head of Kendrapara branch of HDFC, Abinash Meher said the demand for POS has gone up since high-value notes were scrapped. "Businessmen who have current accounts in our are asking for POS every day but we do not have stocks to meet the growing demand. The applications have been sent to our Bhubaneswar office."

Prior to the bank had supplied about a hundred POSs to traders. Now nearly 125 applications are pending with it.

"Traders opting for plastic money is a positive development. Their sale will pick up as it is found that customers skip buying midway due to shortage to currency notes. It will not be so anymore. Besides, it will ease the burden on banks," he added.

Manager of Pubjab National Bank branch here, Manas Kumar Sahu said POS is still something new for people in rural pockets and they are yet to be accustomed to it. But the prevailing crunch would familiarise them with the device as shopkeepers are opting for it.

Rajendra Acharya, a customer from Rahama in Jagatsinghpur, said he was earlier aware that debit cards were used only to withdraw cash from ATMs. "However, the present crisis (demonetisation) has made me use it through POS device to purchase goods."

If cashless transaction picks up in rural areas, time will come when plastic currency will take over paper money, said Assistant General Manager, SBI, Pramod Pradhan.

"We are trying to encourage small traders to go for POS mode of transaction," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 30 2016. 16:32 IST