Waiting for your turn to exchange Rs 500 & Rs 1,000? Here are a few apps to help get a cash-independent life

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Published: November 14, 2016 6:05:01 AM

Although the government has not left you with much choice but to stand for hours waiting for your turn to exchange R500 and R1,000 currency notes, technology can be an answer to your temporary cash woes.

Although the government has not left you with much choice but to stand for hours waiting for your turn to exchange R500 and R1,000 currency notes, technology can be an answer to your temporary cash woes. Those too busy and too tired of waiting can always rely on e-wallets and apps to pay for their daily needs as well as make cash transfers. Ishaan Gera lists a few apps, from the e-wallet as well as the recently launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platforms, that can help you achieve a cash-independent lifestyle for the time-being or even afterwards.


The most popular e-wallet in the space, PayTM may not have a great app interface but it offers more options than its competitors when it comes to e-commerce buying, transferring money to a friend’s wallet, requesting payments, utility bill payments and a newly added feature to buy gold as well. The registration is simple and just requires your mobile phone number and an OTP. Once registered, you can shop via the PayTM app or use it to pay for cabs or on e-commerce websites. Though the app may look a bit crammed or dated, with one of the biggest networks of users that may not be a big impediment. Also, the company over the years has tied up with autos, cabs and even some grocery stores and petrol pumps, so all you have to do is scan the code. The app also offers some great discounts and cashbacks, so if you want aone-stop shop for everything, then it’s PayTM karo.


Mobikwik may not have as much variety as PayTM, but the user interface is certainly easier to use. Moreover, the company has tied up with Payback, so if you have any points you can redeem them via Mobikwik. The app has good utility payment support, and can really give others a run for the money in the deal space, especially ones related to dining. One of the interesting features of the app is ‘Nearby’, which shows all the outlets around you where you can use the Mobikwik wallet. Money transfer is also simple. Mobikwik is an app for those who want an easy to use the platform for deals with the added bonus of utility payments.


Registration may not be too easy with Freecharge but it covers up for the lag with its offerings. Though not as diverse as PayTM, Freecharge does offer a good number of options from Snapdeal for you to choose from. Moreover, the user interface is the easiest amongst the lot, with most of the utlity and bill payment options available as tabs on the screen. But one of the unique features of the app is chat and pay and split bills option. The app also offers enough deals and offers to get cashbacks and discounts across categories. If you are looking for deals ranging from mobile payments to shopping and food, Freecharge may be a good option.

More than cash

For those who are a bit sceptical about wallets, there is always the option of UPI. The government had launched the service earlier this year and now most banks are linked to the platform. Though the transfer option is easier than a wallet and is bank agnostic—unlike wallets where one needs to have an account with the same service—one needs to have the app pre-installed for UPI to function smoothly. There are many bank apps that can just initiate simple transfers, but there are some that can do much more.


A Yes Bank initiative, PhonePe is unlike any other UPI app as it provides for transfers and more. The registration process is simple as it detects your mobile number and just requires you to provide the name of the bank to start its payment interface. The payment is secured by NPCI, with the app just requiring an M-Pin to initiate transactions. But the one distinguishing feature is the host of options it comes along with. The app allows for the option of bill splitting. If you require ease of payments and no deals and options, PhonePe seems to be a good bet.


Another one of Yes Bank’s affiliates, TruPay also offers the same options as PhonePe for bank-to-bank transfers. While the app has option for utilities and gift cards as well, which is an added bonus, the registration process is much more difficult as compared to other platforms. The app interface is not as appealing and it also takes a lot of time to load, but it makes up in security and ease of transfer service.


Of the third party apps available for UPI, MyPoolin offers everything from splitting of bills to planning and paying for them. The registration is via the Yes Bank platform, but MyPoolin offers vouchers with discounts for certain services. Although the registration is a tad difficult and the app would require some getting used to, the features like plan and pay allow for much variety within the app. With plan and pay, one can use the app to explore services like movies, travel and dining and plan with friends using the pool option. Moreover, it also accesses the Facebook profile of friends connected via the app. For college students or those who always roam in a group, MyPoolin may the best option. While the interface is refreshing, it is not for those looking for easy transfers and payments.

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