Digital transaction is on the rise across Steel city Rourkela post demonetisation of high value currency notes. People are making payments through Point of Sale (PoS) machines and cheques for their daily needs.
Rajesh Prasad, a city-based jeweller, said in the last one month, transactions through Point of Sale (PoS) machines have gone up. Customers, who were once reluctant to use debit cards, are now getting used to it, he added.
Cashless transactions are getting a push at institutional levels. The RSP-run Ispat General Hospital (IGH) is set for cashless transaction by December 20 while other utility service providers are also working aggressively to shift to electronic payments.
Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) Commissioner A K Mallick said all 34 tax collectors have been sensitised and the RMC has sought 40 PoS machines for maximum digital transactions.
The Software Technology Park of India (STPI), Rourkela in association with e-Governance Services India Ltd and Axis Bank, had recently organised a workshop on Digital Payments & Cashless Economy.
STPI Assistant Director A Yadav said similar awareness programmes would be held involving industry associations, government organisations and educational institutions.
National Institute of Technology-Rourkela had changed over to electronic transactions two years ago. Even payments of wages to MGNREGS workers in the district are linked to their bank or postal accounts. Paddy procurement payments to farmers’ bank accounts are also made mandatory.
However, cashless payment continues to remain a challenge at the interior pockets of tribal dominated Sundargarh district due to lack of awareness, poor telecom service and internet networks.
Sundargarh-based Lead Bank Manager DP Rath admitted that awareness among rural population at remote pockets of the district is low. Efforts are on to sensitise them, he added.
About 144 bank correspondents equipped with PoS and Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) machines are working at rural pockets.
A NABARD official said about 1,700 villages in the district would be provided with PoS machines, while villagers not having smart phones and internet would be encouraged to use Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) through voice network mobile phones.
Recently, Ibrahimpur, a sleepy village in Telangana, has officially become the first hamlet in south India to go cashless.