In a historical step to save India from corruption and the curse of black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening banned the use of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes with immediate effect. However, the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes – while slated to have a positive impact on the economy – has put the retail sector in a tizzy.
Even as mobile wallets companies rejoice, positive that the move will sway the nation towards a cashless economy, e-commerce behemoths like Amazon and Flipkart have stopped taking Cash on Delivery orders (CoD) on their websites.
While the Flipkart website says that CoD facility is not available, a message pops up on Amazon India if you choose the CoD option.
The message reads: “We have disabled CoD for you to save cash for essential payments. Use credit/debit cards, net banking or gift cards to complete your purchase.”
Snapdeal is still open to CoD purchases, although a notice on the website clearly states that their delivery boys will not be accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from CoD customers.
The site has also given option to consumers to defer the delivery by a few days till the new currency notes become easily available. They have also set a limit of Rs 2,000 for CoD orders.
E-tailers are hopeful that this surgical strike on black money will push towards online payments and a cashless economy in the long run, boosting their margins – especially since CoD makes up for almost 80 per cent of sales.
Co-founder & CEO Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl tweeted, “Cash on delivery to be a thing of the past very soon. Expect massive adoption of digital payment systems like @FreeCharge in place of cash!.”
Brick-and-Mortar Saves The Day
Even as e-commerce biggies disabled their COD options on Wednesday, traditional retailers stepped forward to bail out consumers.
Group CEO Future Retail, Kishore Biyani tweeted on Tuesday night: For the benefit of the consumer we are asking our stores to be open till 11 50 to help people buy their daily needs.
Future Retail stores – including Central, Ezone, Home Center, Brand Factory and Big Bazaar – were all accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes till midnight on Tuesday, helping people stock up on basic necessities for the next few days.
A similar tweet could be seen on the Spencer’s Retail Twitter handle. The tweet read: For the convenience of our customers all Spencer’s Retail stores will remain open till 11:50 PM today.
Women’s ethnic wear brand Meena Bazaar too asked all consumers to use their Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in their stores till midnight on Tuesday.
Paytm Sees 435 pc Increase In Traffic
The company has registered a 200 per cent hike in number of app downloads and 250 per cent surge in number of overall transactions and transaction value. The number of Saved Cards also grew by 30 per cent, pointing at a strong set of repeat customers the platform has now acquired.
Paytm users can pay virtually anyone who has a smartphone just by scanning their QR code or entering their mobile number in the Paytm app. Paytm Cash can be used to pay for local taxi/autos fares, paying at petrol pumps, grocery outlets, restaurants and coffee shops, multiplexes, local tea/vegetable vendors or other service providers who prefer Paytm because of its seamless payment solutions.
Another mobile wallet company, Freecharge, too reported a sharp 12X overnight jump in the average wallet balance.