Since demonetisation, citizens have had to bear the brunt of transition to a cashless economy. The promise of a cashless economy making our lives easier has met with constant hitches.
Now, in Hyderabad several shops and vendors have started charging an extra Rs 2 to Rs 5 on digital transactions in the city. With the ATMs in Hyderabad left without cash for past several months, people are left with no choice but to resort to digital transactions.
â€śMostly the medical shops in Hyderabad have been charging up to Rs 10 for card payments, saying that they are being charged by the banks for the digital transactions. What is the motive of making India cashless, when people have to pay extra for e-transactions?â€ť Telakapalli Ravi, a Hyderabad-based economist told TNM.
However, it is not just in the case of card payments, Paytm is also reportedly charging extra on each transaction in the city.
â€śThere is no cash in any of the ATMs. Every day I visit almost five to six ATMs but none of them have cash. Because of which, I have to make payments through Paytm mostly. Now, some of the kirana shops in the Begumpet area have started charging Rs 5 for each transaction. This is a loss for the customers,â€ť said Mohit, a resident of Begumpet.
The vendors put the blame on the applications for levying transaction charges on the vendors.
â€śPaytm has been charging traders 2% extra as service charge. With this, I am hardly making any profit. So, I have started charging the customers for Paytm payments,â€ť Basheer, a general kirana shop owner in old city Chandrayangutta, said.
Ravi says that Paytm has been charging the traders for transferring their money from mobile-wallets to their bank accounts.
â€śBefore demonetisation banks did not charge anything for digital or card payment, however now after demonetisation even the government has been forcing banks to charge minimum of 1% on digital transactions. As this has been affecting the profit of traders, they have started charging customers. Though this is illegal, this practice has become common in Telangana,â€ť said Venkatramaiah Reddy, General Secretary of Bank Employee Federation of India for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Ravi says that digitisation of India has been a failure, as citizens have to now bear the cost of it.
â€śI would call it a big failure of the government. On the one hand, they are encouraging people to go cashless, on the other hand they are levying charges for transaction as well as on withdrawal,â€ť the economist said.