Amidst the confusion created by demonetization, the Indian state of Goa prepares itself to become the first state to operate cashless in the country from 31 December 2016.
This announcement was made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is also the former Chief Minister of the state, during a rally at Sankhali on 25 November 2016. The plan includes making even small vendors selling perishable goods accustomed to mobile payment.
• All vendors would be given Mobile Money Identifier (MMI) codes when they register at the bank.
• Customers would be able to make the transaction by dialing *99# and following the instructions that appear on the screen.
• The information to be filled by them would include their bank account details, the total amount that is to be transferred along with the MMI code of the vendor.
• The mobile required to make the payment wouldn’t have to be a Smartphone.
• There will be no minimum limit on the cashless transfer of money and these transactions will also be immune from any sort of fees.
• This way the money will directly be debited from the sender’s account and credited to the receiver’s account. It will take away the hassle of installing swiping machines, especially in the case of small retailers and vendors.
• A drive to educate people on the working of the same system has already been initiated in Mapusa and Panaji.
However, such a move will not nullify the usage of debit/credit and ATM cards, as their usage will continue as usual and it also doesn’t mean a ban on cash transactions. The effort just aims to encourage the society to go cashless.
According to Goa’s Chief Secretary, RK Srivastava, the state has an added advantage due to its small size. With a population of 15 lakh, it already has around 17 lakh registered mobile connections and 22 lakh bank accounts. Srivastava also added that most people in Goa already use debit or credit cards to make their purchases.