Novopay has stepped up to the demands of demonetisation by empowering neighbourhood stores in rural and urban India to handle cash deposits and withdrawals on behalf of banks.
Farmers from the village of Gawa in Giridih district of Jharkhand did not have to sacrifice their work in the fields to go to the bank to deposit cash. The daily wage labourers of Basopatty in Madhubani District of Bihar did not have to go to a bank to convert their old currency notes.
All they had to do in these remotest corners of the country, was walk into their neighbourhood stores to make transactions, thanks to Novopay.
Novopay, an android-based mobile wallet, helps in payments and banking using Aadhaar identification proof. Since 2014, Novopay has been upgrading neighbourhood shops, both in the remotest of villages and urban centres, into micro-ATMs. These shops were empowered with the capability to accept deposits, transfer cash and withdraw cash – something that came in handy when the demonetisation decision was announced.
The government’s announcement that Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500 notes will cease to be legal tenders has set our banks to work on full-throttle since November 10. Novopay decided to jump in and offer its support. It approached banks for permissions to handle cash deposits and withdrawals. Within just one week of the announcement, Novopay got itself the required authorisations and started its work on ground.
Banners that read, “You can exchange your old cash here”, went up in hundreds of Novopay-empowered shops across the country.
These shops became ‘banking points’ and were of great convenience in many places where access to a bank was an issue.
Migrant labourers in cities, unbanked citizens, villagers living in remote hinterlands of 20 different states, including Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, all leveraged the Novopay facility at these shops.
Rohit Kumar, a resident of Gahara village in Bihar, who used Novopay says, “Our nearest ATM is 10 km away and we were facing great difficulty with the long queues in banks. Then I got to see Novopay at a nearby outlet and did my transaction.” Prasenjit Sutradhar, a retailer who provides Novopay’s services at his outlet in Falakata village of West Bengal says “I’m excited to provide Novopay’s service at my outlet and my customers are very happy about it too.”
In short, it was a win-win for all – citizens are happy with the easy access to banking, shop-owners earn a commission on each transaction and also earn more business through the increased footfall that Novopay brings in. And it is a breather for banks too.
Novopay was founded by Srikanth Nadhamuni, Sridhar Rao and Gautam Bandhopadhyay in 2014 as a company that would facilitate financial inclusion and cashless transactions.
Notably, Srikanth Nadhamuni, the Chairman of Novopay, was the technology brain behind Aadhaar. Sridhar Rao, one of the co-founders of Novopay says, “We wanted to build a low-cost, mass-use, android-based, biometric enabled device that works on Bluetooth. We rely on the shop-owners’ cash box for the money circulation to happen. By simplifying the wallet and by using Aadhaar identification, we have been able to serve more people and stay reliable. We truly believe in the power of Aadhaar in bringing about financial inclusion.”
Novopay is playing a significant role in simplifying demonetisation and is set to continue its efforts to facilitate a cashless economy.
You can get in touch with Novopay by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.