A cashless day out


Like others, I also thought that the life without cash would be hell. Seeing the queue outside the banks and the horrifying deaths of many people in the queue had made the thinking environment quite conservative. So I thought let me have a day our without cash and see, how much troubles are there on the path of cashless life? Though living in a city like Bangalore, one may not have much of the trouble with his daily chores without cash, I thought it was worth trying the outing with family in this politically biased atmosphere.

Cautiously, we didn’t plan for big, just for a movie in the afternoon, then evening snacks in a hotel and then shopping in a mall to purchase the household items and eatables etc. for the coming week. Like earlier, the movie tickets were booked through internet though the internet handling charges charged by the portals are bit on the higher side. Since the movie was released in the same week, we thought it was better and safer to book the tickets in advance. So the transaction was cashless.

On Sunday, after finishing the breakfast at home and completing the daily routine activities, I cleaned up my wallet, checked for the cards and counted my cash balance. It was just Rs. 88. This was just to please my black wallet that was generally comfortable always with Rs. 400-500 white cash inside it. Even in the past I had arguments with my wife for not carrying enough cash but my wallet was never so heavy anytime since I started maintaining one almost 18 years back. I was a cashless person from the day I started earning. I started using the credit card almost 16 years back when the acceptance of it was bare minimum. There were annual charges on it. Most of the merchants used to charge 2 percent extra on the transactions. Even the debit cards arrived late.

As planned, we started for the movie. On the way, my son wanted to buy a pair of gloves for riding his bicycle. He got one in a cycle shop. The shopkeeper happily offered his machine for the swipe. Then I filled the petrol in my car and paid with my card. So far, so good. Then at the multiplex, we were in the reel world far from the cash woes only to come out during the break. Seeing the hawkers around, my son demanded popcorn. At that point of time, I thought that my cashless journey has failed as I need to keep some cash for the parking too. But to my utter surprise, the hawker had the swipe machine hanging on his tummy. And over that, he told that he prefer accepting card as he need not search for the change to be returned to the customer. First time in my life, I swiped my card to purchase popcorn!

After the movie, we went to a restaurant for snacks. As usual we ordered for dosas and tea. The person at the counter told the bill amount and put forward his swipe machine with even asking for it. This was the same restaurant where due to their non-acceptance of the cards, I was forced to draw cash from an ATM and pay. Yes, things are changing. We finished snacks, went to the mall, completed the shopping, paid with the card and came back home. I checked my wallet; the cash balance was Rs. 48. Wow! I can have one more day out with this much of cash! I was thinking in my mind, what for people are standing for hours in the queue, even in Bangalore? Is it the cash that makes them feel secure or the acceptance of cashless transactions for their daily chores? I remembered a photo that I received on social media, where a beggar offered the swipe machine to a person sitting in a luxury car when he told the beggar that he does not have a change! This should be the level of cashless society. Together, we shall and we will achieve it!


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