S Mahesh using a card swipe machine to receive payment from a customer in the city on Saturday | Shri krishna

S Mahesh was busy seeking solutions to a pressing problem, just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8. He was opening several tabs on his browser where as other Chennaiites scrambled to banks,

Having seen sales at his roadside shop, which sold fancy jewellery, fall, he realised that people had no cash to buy even essentials, let alone purchase earrings. There were several days, following November 8, when he made less than Rs 100 at his shop, setup on the pavement near Nungambakkam railway station about a year-and- a-half ago.

Mahesh, who holds a technical diploma degree says :

“There was a cash crunch. I had to accept card payments if my business is to remain sustainable.

After some research on internet, he purchased a portable Point of Sales (PoS) machine from a private dealer. He had to wait for four days before he could have the machine delivered to his house.

As a consequence of his decision to purchase a swipe machine, Mahesh’s business has picked up. A resident of Kolathur, he said,

“More people are coming now just because I am accepting card payments. Even those who stopped purchasing are returning as well.”

He says he now goes home after making sales worth atleast Rs 500 every day, which was not the case earlier when he accepted only cash payments.

Although sales have risen, he has to manage certain offsets. For one, besides making a one-time purchase of the swipe machine, costing about Rs 1500, he has to part with Rs 400 every month to the private firm. Adding upto Rs 4800 a year, the small time vendor feels this will be written off in his ledger book as unwanted expense.

Mahesh also rues the fact that the bank takes a commission for every transaction made through card.

He said,

“This (commission) affects my revenue. I don’t want to miss out on customers, who are now willing to purchase goods worth Rs 200 merely by swiping.”

Extra income is crucial to support his family says Mahesh who also has a regular job in a manufacturing company.

Tags : Digital India , Demonetisation

Source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/2017/jan/01/small-time-street-vendor-in-chennai–embraces-digital-transition-1554945.html