Source : Rediff
Most urban Indians have been managing their lives with difficult-to-obtain cash since that late night prime ministerial proclamation two weeks ago.
The daily travails and the plight of the largely cash-run Indian countryside stare at you from newspaper front pages and television screens even as full-page newspaper advertisements inserted by ewallet companies urge Indians to go cashless.
Abhishant Pant, 36, a FinTech professional, has been living in a cashless state of mind for several months now.
While Indians rush to banks and ATMs to deposit/exchange no-longer-legal-tender Rs 500/Rs 1,000 bank notes and withdraw cash, Pant is chilling at home. He only had loose change amounting to Rs 546 in his 'piggy bank' when the PM declared the note ban.
"I was giving a lecture on payments at an IIT conference in February when someone asked whether it is possible to live without cash in this era of digital payments. I felt it was possible and decided to execute the idea myself," he says.
He was to travel to Singapore and felt he would not face any problems in that nation, arriving without cash in hand. Reality confronted him soon enough at Singapore's Changi airport when he hailed a taxi.
"The taxiwallah refused to take digital payment. So, I had to wait for another cab. Luckily, the third taxi I hailed agreed to do so," Abishant recalls.
Why didn't he carry some cash for an emergency?
"I intentionally didn't," he says. "When you have a safety net, your experience is not real. If I knew I had an option, I would have opted for it. I would have ended up paying in cash, which I did not want. I survived in Singapore for five days only on digital payments."
When Abhishant wrote about his experience, Cashless in Singapore and learning for India on LinkedIn, readers said it was possible to do so in Singapore, but not in India.
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