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Demonetization: Chaotic Queues get longer as People scrambled for Money after Monthly Salaries got Credited in Bank Accounts

The supply of notes from currency chests has failed to keep pace with the demand for cash

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Customers line up outside a New Delhi bank to exchange outdated currency or make withdrawals. (A. Pasricha/VOA)
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NEW DELHI, November 30, 2016: Chaotic queues got longer on Wednesday as people in large numbers scrambled for money after monthly salaries got credited in bank accounts — the first since the high value currency was scrapped, causing an unprecedented cash deficiency across India.

Most private companies in India credit salaries to their employees on the last day of a month even as labor laws allow wages to be disbursed on any day before the 10th of the next month.

 As soon as the salaries were credited, millions of employees began queuing up outside banks and ATMs across the country to withdraw cash to meet their monthly needs and pay their domestic helps, drivers and clear their monthly grocery and other bills.

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Since the supply of notes from currency chests has failed to keep pace with the demand for cash after 86 per cent of currency in circulation was declared illegal on November 8, the chaos worsened on the payday as more households needed cash than earlier.

Several banks ran out of cash within hours of opening. Some bank officials complained that they were getting cash much below what they need.

Bankers said they were rationing withdrawals so that more customers were catered to.

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People were seen in bigger numbers waiting to withdraw money. Many were annoyed by the rush and the arbitrary withdrawal limits set by banks. And the situation could get worse in the coming days as more number of people will receive salaries.

“I have to pay my maid and grocery bills in cash. I somehow managed to convince my landlord to accept the rent in cheque but I am bound to visit the bank for other payments,” said Vishakha Sharma from west Delhi.

The 27-year-old waited outside a bank for two hours. “It is so humiliating that we have to stand in long queues and beg for our own money.”

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An MNC employee, Yogesh Yadav, said he had come to withdraw Rs 24,000 from his bank account but was given only Rs 10,000. “It’s the end of the month and I am supposed to pay bills. How will I manage?” Yadav asked.

A resident of Krishna Nagar in Delhi, Rahul Chauhan got his salary credited on Tuesday but could not withdraw even after standing in a queue at 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

“By the time my chance to enter the bank came, it ran out of cash.”

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Scenes in Kolkata, like the rest of India, played out no differently. In apprehension of a mad rush, people started queuing up outside banks and ATMs since morning.

“I am in the queue since 8.30 a.m.,” said Sougata Mitra, an employee of a private firm outside a Bank of India branch in central Kolkata.

It was 10.45 a.m. when IANS caught up with Mitra, and already 50-60 customers had lined up.

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The first salary day after demonetization proved haranguing for the maximum city Mumbai where most ATMs ran dry. Desperate men and women drove from one place to another, halting wherever they saw an ATM alive, albeit with long queues.

Though many Mumbaikars have shifted to making certain payments online or by debit/credit cards, there are many bills which need to be paid in cash. Many feared that the situation could worsen on Thursday.

“Everything has come to a standstill. Worse, many online payments systems are jammed due to the sudden heavy traffic and payments are pending,” fumed a pharmaceutical consultant P. Venkataraman from Kandivali, a Mumbai suburb. (IANS)

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BHIM app: All about going Cashless

The BHIM app was developed by NPCI on 30th December 2016 and later launched by PM Narendra Modi.

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BHIM app works across all bank accounts. Wikimedia commons
BHIM app works across all bank accounts. Wikimedia commons

The act of demonetization by the government last year had simply made us stand on our heels. People were fighting their way out in the absence of hard cash and thus made us oblige to the digital platform.

BHIM app is one of the various digital money transfer app (application) which uses UPI (Unified Payments Interface). The app was developed by NPCI on 30th December 2016 and later launched by PM Narendra Modi. It aims towards bringing Financial inclusion and making us a digitally empowered society.

BHIM app is backed by the Government of India making it a more reliable cashless payment option (unlike PayTM). Pixabay
BHIM app is backed by the Government of India making it a more reliable cashless payment option (unlike PayTM). Pixabay

Here, we will help you to walk through the procedure involved in the better use of BHIM app.

How to download BHIM app

  • You can download and install BHIM from Google play store for Android and Apple store for IOS.
  • Select whichever language you prefer.
  • Select the mobile number which is registered with your bank.
  • Set a 4 digit password to log in.
  • Link a bank account.
  • Now, you need to set a UPI pin by providing the expiry date and last six digits of your debit card.
  • Your account is now registered and you are ready to go cashless.How to use BHIM without internet
  • You can dial *99# from your phone and you will be able to avail the same features of BHIM on your mobile.
  • *99# can also be used to register for BHIM.
BHIM app has three level authentication including device ID or mobile number, bank account and UPI pin, which makes it the most secure option. Pixabay
BHIM app has three level authentication including device ID or mobile number, bank account and UPI pin, which makes it the most secure option. Pixabay

Features of BHIM app

Send Money
With this feature, you can send money by scanning a QR code, combination of Account Number and IFSC by using Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

Request Money
This feature allows you to send a collect request by entering VPA. Also, through BHIM, you can transfer money using a Mobile that is registered with BHIM or *99#.

Scan and Pay
This feature allows you to pay by scanning the QR code.

Transactions
This one will show your transaction history. It shows pending UPI collection request, so you can approve or reject payments. Also, there is an option to report if a user wants to raise any complaint.

Profile
This option will help you to view the static QR code and Payment addresses that are created. The QR can be downloaded and also be shared through WhatsApp or Email.

Bank Account
This feature enables you to check the bank account (which is linked to BHIM). You can set or change your UPI pin or the bank account linked with BHIM App by clicking on ‘Change Account’. You can also check your account balance using this feature.

BHIM is not a wallet. It is a payments application which allows users to make instant bank transfers. Pixabay

Why should you use the BHIM app?

  • It works across all bank accounts.
  • You can access it without internet.
  • BHIM is backed by the Government of India making it a more reliable cashless payment option (unlike PayTM).
  • It has three level authentication including device ID or mobile number, bank account and UPI pin, which makes it the most secure option.
  • All in all, BHIM has turned out to be the safest and most reliable cashless payment option against competitors like Paytm.