Street vendors gets training to accept digital payments

Street vendors being provided QR codes to accept digital payments.

Street vendors being provided QR codes to accept digital payments.

The Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation has begun digital onboarding of street vendors to equip them to accept digital payments using UPI QR codes. As many as 650 of the city’s street vendors have been provided training till now as part of this. Since around 50% of the street vendors do not use smartphones, they are being provided a system which enables accepting of digital payments in their accounts even with a regular phone, with SMS notifications.

According to an official of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission at the Corporation, loans have been provided under the Union Government’s scheme to more than 1,000 street vendors till now, with the city becoming the first local body in the State to achieve that number. Till now, loans of ₹10,000 have been provided to 1,000 street vendors and loans of ₹20,000 to 240 street vendors. The digital onboarding is now being rolled out for the street vendors who are beneficiaries of these loans, to improve their basic infrastructure.

“One of the issues we are facing is that many banks are rejecting the loan applications based on CIBIL scores. But Finance Ministry officials had made it clear that in this case CIBIL scores should not be considered. Till now, applications from 458 street vendors in the city have been rejected,” said an official.

12-day camp

The Corporation organised a 12-day camp for the 650 street vendors who were digitally onboarded. They were provided sessions on the benefits of digital payment, its security aspects and the cost- saving through the implementation of the scheme. A special cash-back system is also being implemented for the street vendors to promote the system.

Street vendors selling food items, fruits and other items have signed up for the loan schemes and digital onboarding. A majority of the smart phone users among the street vendors are the relatively young vendors who have taken it up in the past two years, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak, which led to job losses across several sectors. According to the officials, some of the vendors call them up with doubts on using the online payment system.

Houses for vendors

The Corporation is also planning to provide houses to the homeless street vendors under the LIFE project. As per a quick survey conducted by the officials here, 25% of the street vendors do not have a house of their own.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2022 4:35:46 am |