The government's ambitious decision to crack down on black money has led it to announe a pivotal and far reaching decision. On Tuesday night, without any prior intimation, the OM told the nation that notes of denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were being removed from circulation. Though there have been concerns regarding the problems that Indians would face as the country goes cashless of a couple of days, the general sentiment has been positive.
Of course, the sector that has been the most responsive to the government decision and the one that stands to benfit the most is the online payment and commerce segment.
For example, Paytm saw exponential growth in offline payments, post PM’s announcement with over 435 per cent increase in Paytm’s overall traffic within hours, says the company.
Madhur Deora, CFO of Paytm said, “This is the biggest and most ambitious step ever to crack down on black money and fake currency. We stand by the government in its efforts towards taking black money out of the equation and offering a major boost to the Indian economy. Since Paytm is fast becoming synonymous to all kinds of payments, we are happy to announce we have registered a strong surge in volume on our platform.”
On similar lines, Ola reported over 1500 per cent increase in recharges across the 102 cities of its operation between 8:30 pm on 8 November 2016 till 12:00 pm.
Most e-retailers felt that the government decision would further boost the use of digital channels of payment, something that is still to catch up in India.
Rohan Bhargava, Co-Founder of CashKaro.com, agreed that the government's decision would provide a boost to digital payments and encourage people to shop online more. "We welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to phase out the circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bank notes as this will bring transparency and stronger accountability. From the retailer's point, cash on delivery (CoD) options will see a fall which in turn will lead customers to place more orders through cards and net-banking. Wallets like Paytm, Jio Money will see an increase of usability," he said.
Sankalp Goel, Co-founder of DJUBO, also noted that the hotel booking company has seen "rapid early growth" in usage of their direct booking platforms since the central government announced its decision.
"Prime Minister Modi’s directive is historic. It will leapfrog our payment ecosystem towards digitisation. Its hard for marketplace businesses like UrbanClap to fully fathom the wide spread impact of this move right now. My view is, cash on delivery will soon become a thing of the past. At UrbanClap, we have put in place features like “book now - pay online after service” to fully capitalise on the same," said Abhiraj Bhal, Co -founder UrbanClap.
Prasoon Shrivastava, Founder & CEO, Helpmebuild, also expressed his happiness with the government decision. "We are very happy with the Govt’s verdict on supporting Cash-less and Digital India to curb corruption. This will lead a level playing field across e-commerce businesses as COD will not be entertained for some time. Helpmebuild has always been promoting online payment as per our policies and business fundamentals. This decision will be helpful for bootstrapped e-commerce businesses as cash burn is not an option to adhere to strong business fundamentals and to provide hassle – free customer support.”
Others, too, expressed their support for the government decision, with the common consensus being that it would aid the fight against black money.
"This is a masterstroke, as the PM, I believe had given people an opportunity to disclose black money earlier as well. I believe that courageous decisions such as these will contribute to us being a stronger, more transparent economy," said Nitish Jain, President of SP Jain School of Global Management,
"As the country has gone cashless for the next two days with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement to remove 500 and 1000 rupee notes, it will shift the offline bookings in travel domain to online bookings but leisure travel will be slow over few days because of cash not available in the market that people need for food, transport etc. For example, Goa doesn't have Ola or Uber and travelling is a challenge in a sense of cash. Although, this is a revolutionary step to curb corruption," said Rohit Khetrapal, Co-Founder of FindMystay.
"This step taken by Sir Narendra Modi is path-breaking and revolutionary, as it sets a great example on how to bring change boldly and effectively. We as a nation have to fight corruption and what a way to begin! This bold move is just another instance of the Modi government’s vision of corruption free India," said Mayank Bhangadia, Co-founder and CEO Roposo.
On the agency side, Zafar Rais, CEO of MindShift Interactive, felt the initiative would lead to further assertive actions towards fighting corruption and terrorism in the country.