Pune: While demonetisation took a toll on most sectors, the hospitality sector was among the quickest to shift to the changing transaction method. It adopted online payments. While a large chunk of restaurants from the city were relying on cash payments, the scenario has drastically changed one year on.
Following demonetisation, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on November 8, 2016, restaurants installed Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines to enable customers to make hassle-free payments. However, this is the case for bigger restaurants. Smaller restaurants and snack centres continue to rely on cash payments from customers.
Speaking to Sakal Times, President of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA), Ganesh Shetty said that one year on, restaurants have accepted the change in mode of payment. “As compared to the period before demonetisation, we have seen a 30 to 40 per cent rise in card payments at restaurants across the city. People are using cards to pay any amount around Rs 200 or above,” he explained.
He said that while cards are popularly accepted, the penetration of mobile wallets in this segment remains low. However, users of mobile wallets have stated that many small restaurants, snack centres and cafes accept payments through mobile wallets. “We need not worry about carrying cash while going out for a cup of coffee or a light snack as many cafes accept payments through PayTM or other mobile wallets. It has made things very convenient,” said Shaheen Ghasia.
“If we are running low on PayTM balance, we can instantly transfer money from our bank account to PayTM to make the payments,” added Shaheen Ghasia.
A food enthusiast, Prasanna Parmar said, “Most of the restaurants and lounges that I frequent accept card payments. This was not the case one year ago, when we had to use cash to pay at certain restaurants. The availability of PoS machines at restaurants have made transactions easy as it was not always possible to find an ATM somewhere to withdraw cash to make the payment.”
He believes that even smaller restaurants and eateries must install PoS machines to facilitate cashless transactions.