Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday nudged citizens to use digital payment tools as these are safer during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is the time to ensure social distancing. Digital payments help you do that. Let’s listen to these stalwarts and adopt digital payments,” the PM tweeted on Sunday, citing social media posts by four individuals — badminton player Srikanth Kadambi, cricketer Smriti Mandhana, Sequoia India’s Rajan Anandan and Aarin Capital chairman Mohandas Pai.
Separately, the finance ministry and banks to have been pushing citizens to use e-payment tools. “If you have to make payments, do it digitally and stay safe,” financial services secretary Debashish Panda too said in a video released on Twitter. Several banks have waived charges for digital transactions.
Banks as well as ATM operators, however, said that some of the lenders are refilling ATMs more frequently, although there is no surge in cash withdrawals. A private sector bank said that last week it had increased the amount of cash by 20-25%, which was partly linked to the lifting of the moratorium imposed on Yes Bank as many lenders were expecting higher withdrawals from the troubled bank’s accounts.
“With lockdown imposed in many parts of the country, the demand for cash is going to be lower in the coming weeks,” said a bank executive. Most banks have asked for additional safety measures at ATMs in the wake of Covid-19 with employees asked to clean the cash dispensing machines more frequently and use sanitisers.
(With inputs from timesofindia)