Government’s decision to scrap old 500 and 1000 rupees notes and replace them with new ones is primarily aimed at curbing the domestic black money hoarded in cash. But it has another objective too – to help the country move towards cashless economy.
People like Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of Infosys and architect of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has been among the votaries of cashless economy arguing that not only will it benefit the common man in receiving government benefits, it will also curb corruption.
Demonetization of high value currency notes is being seen as an opportunity to introduce people to cashless transaction as they will be short on cash for a few days due to rush at banks and ATMs, and thus the other option remaining is to use digital wallets or other modes of digital payments.
And this opportunity is being grabbed by many. Digital wallet Paytm coming up with a full page ad congratulating PM Modi and using his image has been creating a lot of buzz, but Paytm is not alone that is latching on to this opportunity.
Online food ordering app Swiggy, where one can pay through digital wallets or credit cards if one doesn’t have ready cash, too rode on PM Modi’s name and offered cashback to new customers in shape of a coupon code “MODI”:
— Neelabh Chugh (@neelabhchugh) November 9, 2016
— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) November 11, 2016
As the tweet above says, perhaps Swiggy was fortunate that Delhi CM Arvind Kejirwal didn’t get their promotional SMS else he would have questioned the “deal” between Swiggy and PM Modi too the way he insinuated a deal between Paytm and the Prime Minister.
Surprisingly, Jio Money, the digital wallet offering from Reliance, doesn’t seem to be trying to ride this demonetization wave through such marketing gimmicks. It should be noted that Jio was the first one to use PM Modi’s image in an ad – a trick that Paytm copied.
While Paytm and Swiggy used PM Modi’s name to push people towards cashless transactions in wake of the demonetization, other entities, especially e-commerce websites and banks, were keeping it simple:
— PhonePe (@PhonePe_) November 8, 2016
— bigbasket (@bigbasket_com) November 9, 2016
Forget Cash, Unbox Convenience! Get 10% INSTANT discount on all orders paid online, only on Snapdeal!
— Snapdeal (@snapdeal) November 9, 2016
— Ola (@Olacabs) November 9, 2016
— Kotak Mahindra Bank (@KotakBankLtd) November 9, 2016
Banks have been sending SMS and emails to their customers asking them to increasingly use their debit cards or credit cards for transactions. Banks like ICICI, who have their own digital wallets, are urging their customers to use their products to escape long queues at banks and ATMs.
But the most surprising use of riding this demonetization wave and use of PM Modi’s image has been an ad issued by a lifestyle brand Lawman Pg3. We are not yet sure how do they benefit from cashless economy:
Now lifestyle brand ‘Lawman Pg3’ congratulates PM for demonetisation drive with full page ads..!!! ???? pic.twitter.com/wclFTiFtDh
— Manak Gupta (@manakgupta) November 11, 2016