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Alternative is Key

Debit your stress over no cash in hand by opting for easy and alternate ways of making financial transactions

Not too long ago, the queues around banks and ATMs in the tricity were daunting, to say the least. These are definitely new times for majority of Indians who are in the habit of transacting with cash only. And while the resilience and patience of law-abiding citizens was put to the test, it required some out of the box thinking on their part as well. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated in his statements since the demonetisation move that Indians need to embrace the digital cashless world and “digitisation of economic activities is here to stay”.

While thankfully there was no panic situation in Chandigarh and its suburbs, it’s time all of us opted for (and learnt) alternative ways to make financial transactions. The team at Life in Chandigarh has compiled a list of ways you can make your payments and purchases without having cash in hand (but in the bank, of course).

Alternative is Key, Lifeinchd
Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

Write a cheque, please

This is one of the easiest ways to make a payment. While one is used to cutting a cheque for large amount of payments, that mindset needs to change. Given that it is the safest way to make a payment to someone, it’s surprising that most of us are shy to use it. It not only makes sure the money goes into the person’s account, it also helps you keep check of payments.

Alternative is Key, Lifeinchd
Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

Online Banking

For those who have shied away from using the Internet to transact online, they need to gear up now. The excuse that “I am not Internet-savvy” just doesn’t work anymore. Just like most of us have embraced new technology on our phones, it’s time we did the same for banking online.

For starters, you will have to register for the service at your bank branch. All private and public banks are happy to facilitate the same given the thrust on cashless society by the government. After you register for net banking option, you will be given a starter kit with a customer ID and password. It is imperative that you change the password from time to time and make sure you bank online from a secure server and computer free from malware. Get youngsters at home or people who have online banking experience to help you through initially.

Once you are familiar with net banking, you can do a multitude of things – view your account balances, pay bills, open fixed deposits, recurring deposits et al. You can also make a funds transfer to your friends.

Alternative is Key, Lifeinchd
Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

Mobile as a wallet

Within the first 24 hours of the announcement of demonetisation, the wallet loads of Snapdeal-owned mobile transactions platform Freecharge grew 12 times and has been increasing by the same average since then. Some of the major m-wallet players are Airtel Money, mRupee, Vodafone m-Pesa, Oxigen Wallet, Paytm, Mobikwik and Idea Money. These wallets actually play the part of a physical wallet. You can not only make bill payments but much more. They are easy to download and are accessible on App stores and many Apps come in regional languages as well. All you need is a basic smartphone and internet connection.

Alternative is Key, Lifeinchd
Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

Swipe and be wise

A recent report stated that there were around 75 crore debit and credit cards in the country (Source: RBI) and almost 72 crore of these are debit cards. With an increasing number of stores and vendors now keeping Point of Sale (PoS) machine, it’s time to pull out your debit/credit card from the cupboard and use them card diligently. Never share your pin numbers and passwords with anyone.

Single Platform

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts (of participating banks), several banking services features like fund transfer (P2P), and merchant payments in a single mobile application. UPI was launched by National Payments Corporation of India with Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) vision of migrating towards a ‘less-cash’ and more digital society. UPI has built on the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) platform. It can be used for immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24x and 365 days. Single mobile application is used for accessing different bank accounts. Other features include bill sharing with friends, merchant payment with single application or in-App payments, utility bill payments, over the counter payments and more.

One can download the UPI application from the App Store/Banks website and create profile by entering details like name, virtual id (payment address), password etc. (with inputs from IANS and online banking portals).

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