The home-grown cab aggregator company Ola has reportedly joined hands with Indian banks to help dispense cash during the demonetisation crisis. The citizens can now withdraw cash by swiping debit cards at select Ola cabs.
The project is currently introduced on a test basis in Kolkata and Hyderabad. In Kolkata, Ola has partnered with Punjab National Bank (PNB), while for Hyderabad, it has collaborated with SBI and Andhra Bank.
The Ola cabs, with a bank officer and POS machines, have been parked at the busiest locations of the cities, with the maximum limit to dispense INR 2,000 per card. Also, there are plans to make cash withdrawal available on-the-go rather than being parked at a particular point.
Ola Chief Operating Officer Pranay Jivrajka said, “The week-long activity, that is already servicing thousands of citizens, will continue till the end of the month. The cabs will visit areas like Chandni Chowk Metro Station, Esplanade Metro, Barabazaar, Salt Lake, Exide and Rashbehari in Kolkata and KBR Park, JNTU, Inorbit Mall in Hyderabad.”
He further revealed the plans to introduce the service in other cities as well including Delhi.
To help banks and ATMs cope with the massive crowd for availing new currency, earlier POS machines were also installed at 3,700 petrol pumps. Also, many startups like CashNoCash and BookMYChotu, etc., have attempted to ease out the problems of the citizens in this time of crisis.
Although, the PM Narendra Modi’s decision has initially created chaos in the country, it seems that people are slowly adopting the change. E-wallets have emerged as the ‘next to cash’ option for people in the demonetisation drive. Where Ola has claimed a 1,500% growth in recharge of its digital wallet, Ola Money, Paytm registered 1,000% jump in add-to-cash transactions within 24 hours of the announcement.
So has the ‘aam janta’ started its drive to a cashless economy? Well, only time will tell.