Dinesh enters his WiFi password in his customer’s mobile to ensure quick and easy payments.

Adapting to cash crunch This Hyd kirana store uses WiFi to tide over demonetisation woesDinesh, kirana (grocery) store owner in Somajiguda
news Demonetisation Saturday, December 31, 2016 - 14:56

Demonetisation does not seem to have affected this 26-year old kirana (grocery) store owner much at BS Maktha in Somajiguda, as he goes about his daily business. Dinesh Singh has been using PayTm, while also providing his customers free WiFi to facilitate easy online transactions.

“I took the WiFi connection six years ago to download movies and listen to songs on Youtube. I never thought it would help me increase my sales,” he smiles, while speaking to The News Minute.

Dinesh has been managing his father’s kirana shop for the past nine years. He shares the Wifi connection with the Shama Chicken Market shop owned by Mohammad Siddique and located within a radius of 50 metres. This makes it more affordable.

According to Dinesh, the area has no 3G network and most of the time, transactions over a 2G network either take a long time or simply fails. He makes use of a Wifi booster at his shop, and enters his WiFi password in his customer’s mobile to ensure quick and easy payments.

(Dinesh shares the WiFi connection with Shama poultry shop owner Mohammad Siddique) 

“Many kirana shops in the area have been hit hard, post-demonetisation. People shop more at the supermarket, as everybody has cash in their accounts, but none in hand. I started, using PayTm even before demonetisation was announced. 90% of my customers now pay through PayTm.”

This -he says- has also made many customers prefer his shop to others: “Who wants to lose a customer? I have seen -for the past one month- people coming back to my shop to buy stuff, because it is convenient to them. I even buy stocks for my shop using the same. We usually buy our stock from a wholesale shop at Ameerpet. I introduced him to PayTm. Now he makes most of his transactions online,” Dinesh says.

Poultry shop owner Mohammad Siddique also uses M-swipe for those customers who are comfortable with card payments. Customers at Dinesh’s shop too make use of this facility when needed. “I ask my customers to make the payment at Siddique bhai’s shop. He later transfers the amount to my account,” he explains.

“Not many people know that they can make online payments without internet. If someone does not use/have a smartphone, but his/her mobile number is registered with the bank, all he/she needs to do is just dail *99#, transfer money from the account and make payment,” Dinesh adds.

The USSD-based *99# service was launched to overcome the requirement of a smartphone or use of apps to make online payments.

The *99# is an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-based mobile banking service from National Payments Corporation of India that brings together Banks and telecom service providers.

The only requirement for the service is that the phone used is a GSM one, with the mobile number registered with the bank. Once the person dials the service number, he/she will get a list of services on offer. Each transaction is charged Rs 1.50, but there is no additional charge, even when used in roaming.