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How Visakhapatnam Is Moving Towards Becoming India's First Cashless City

How Visakhapatnam Is Moving Towards Becoming India's First Cashless City
New Delhi: The go cashless drive to get individuals to switch to digital modes of payment is still at a stage where the government feels the need to act as a catalyst and nudge people through incentives schemes to get them to adopt digital methods of payment. That is one end of the spectrum. On the other end is Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, which has gone a step ahead and is working towards making the entire city a functional cashless model within next year. The model of cashless and digital transactions in Visakhapatnam will soon be implemented all over Andhra Pradesh, transforming the state into a cashless one by 2020.

The vision of a cashless Visakhapatnam was jointly shared by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and a globally renowned financial services company, and together they formed a partnership to launch the pilot project, which aims to transform the city of Visakhapatnam into a hub of cashless transactions. The project was launched on June 9 by State IT and Panchayati Raj Nara Lokesh.

As a part of its transforming Visakhapatnam into a cashless city, the government plans to organise several awareness camps throughout the city. The government plans to bring areas of daily expenditure, such as markets, public transport systems, shopping areas, under the ambit of cashless transactions. Both sellers and consumers will be shown how to go about cashless transactions using Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines. Along with consumers and sellers, various government bodies in the city will also move towards becoming cashless. Municipal offices, government schools and hospitals are some of the primary government institutions which will go cashless in Visakhapatnam. The state government also plans to extend the cashless initiative to private companies and retail businesses, urging them to conduct their businesses using digital payment methods.

The project, which has been named as project 'Digital Sankalp' will see the transformation of Visakhapatnam into a Fintech (financial technology) capital city. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the various stakeholders covers the development of digitisation of payment services and  improving the city's digital payment capacity by providing PoS systems. It also covers areas like nurturing startups which are exploring digital economy models ,  promote awareness camps and hackathons.

Also Read: The Multiple Benefits of The Insurance Sector Going Cashless

"The plan is ensure that all the sections of the city, from retail merchants to government schools can go entirely cashless by next year. Over the next few months, a number of events will be held across the city to help people understand how PoS systems and payment wallets work so that they can begin using them," said M. Sailaja, Special Officer, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The city will partner with the Road Transport Office (RTO), traders at railway stations, eSeva by Government of Andhra Pradesh to gradually take Visakhapatnam towards a cashless economy. To meet the self-implemented deadline of going cashless by 2018, the city has covered all primary sections of its economy. If all goes well then Visakhapatnam could well be the city that others in the country emulate in the transition from a cash based economy to a cashless one. 

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About The Campaign

About The Campaign

NDTV along with MasterCard is launching a multi-platform campaign “Cashless Bano India”, to create digital awareness and educate the masses about digital payment solutions for day to day transactions.

The campaign aims to take the message of a cash free India to the country, all while educating them on the ways and means to do it.

We aim to reach out to people and educate them on:

1). Digital and financial literacy

2). New generation digital payment solutions

3). Enabling merchants and consumers to understand and adopt secured and safe payment Solutions

4). Ease of usage at point of sales