Chennai taxi services to accept 500 and 1000 rupees note as Uber, Ola turns to mobile payments

Taxi service providers have instructed their drivers to take Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bills which have been demonetized by the Government. In a bid to up their ante on their competitors Chennai’s Fast Track sent messages through their mobile application that they will be accepting the demonetized bills. While the sudden decision has caused inconvenience, many used it as an opportunity to make a deeper pledge towards digital payments.

Ola cabs and Uber said that the demonetization of some currencies had little impact on their business for the simple fact that most of their operations are digital driven. One of the oldest cab aggregators from the bygone call centre era Fast Track, Chennai was quick to seize the opportunity to cash on the minor disruption in services of their rivals and instructed its drivers to accept the defunct currencies. M Prabhu, Chairman of Fast Track said that its business has increased by 10%, but there is needless panic among consumers.

While Fast Track has held on to its only cash policy, other players like Ola and Uber have significant stakes in the success of digital wallets. However, the company has said that only a tenth of its revenues are coming from digital wallets and has instructed its drivers to accept cash as the day started to progress.

NTL Call Taxi service had flashed a message to its drivers to accept cash. However, it said that as the day progressed there was an upsurge in digital payments. However, some drivers had run out of hundred rupee bills and therefore stopped accepting five hundred and thousand rupee bills.  G Saravanan, MD of NTL said that his company’s digital presence was negligible, but now it sees an upsurge in the use of its digital wallets.

However, players like Ola were upbeat and said that they saw a 15 times increase in recharges with smaller towns remained on cash.

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