Ever since Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, we've been seeing a lot of confusion, and while things will no doubt get back to normal soon, right now one problem that has come up for a lot of people is that the various e-commerce websites have decided to either stop cash on delivery altogether, or limit it to orders below a certain value.
Considering that CoD accounts for the bulk of online shopping in India, this is a big move, and one that hugely inconvenient for many people. Many people prefer to pay CoD because it is more convenient or faster, or because they don't have access to prepaid options. For others, it adds a sense of security, so that they haven't committed any money until they actually get the product they wanted. Snapdeal has announced a new payment option that it hopes will alleviate the problem, which it's calling Wallet on Delivery. Minutes after the announcement, rival Paytm took to social media to say that it is working with "courier partners to enable Wallet on Delivery, also known as Paytm on Delivery [POD]”. MobiKwik also announced via email that it will offer a MobiKwik wallet on delivery option for online sellers.
The idea is simple - you can use the Snapdeal-owned FreeCharge wallet to pay for items at the time of delivery. This will allow users to pay only when the package is delivered, but still saves Snapdeal the hassle of handling cash orders, which complicate logistics significantly. It will also help customers right now as people will not have to scramble for the new currency notes at this point.
According to a Snapdeal employee who spoke to Gadgets 360, the Wallet on Delivery mechanism will work automatically - you will receive a PIN to use in your FreeCharge app and once you confirm it, the money will be deducted. This means that you won't have to use a QR code type of mechanism. It is being rolled out with only Snapdeal right now, but could expand to other Snapdeal sites over time.
“The launch of Wallet on Delivery is an absolute need of the hour for consumers," says Kunal Bahl, founder and CEO, Snapdeal. "The launch of this new feature by FreeCharge shortly after the announcement of the demonetisation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 currency notes demonstrates our speed of execution in ensuring consumers’ needs are met in real time."
The FreeCharge wallet can also be used to pay for utilities, cab rides via Meru, for online recharges, and at some offline merchants, as well as being used to pay for items from Snapdeal.
Will Rs. 500, Rs. 1000 notes demonetisation sway Indians away from cash? We discuss this on Orbital: The Gadgets 360 Podcast. You can either subscribe to via iTunes or RSS or just hit the play button below.