Tips for Tourists to Deal with the Cash Crunch in India
If you are here to tour around in India right now, the biggest problem that you might be facing is a bad cash crunch. Reason is a surprise decision taken by the central government to demonetise (or scrap) 500 and 1000 denomination currency notes without much institutional preparation.
This was done in order to curb the problem of black money since these two denominations constitute well around 86 percent of the money in circulation and higher denominations are easier to store.
You might also be having some problems in paying money to small time vendors, rickshaw pullers, flea market shops etc. since these people don’t have swipe machines to accept debit/credit cards. But despite of all the worries, you can keep the following things in mind to avoid inconvenience to a certain extent:
- Credit Card to the rescue- For most of the transactions, please try to use your credit card. Paying with your credit card will avoid any cash problem when you have to pay for things like air tickets, rail tickets, hotel booking etc. So it is recommended to transact with your credit card wherever it’s possible.
- ATM Withdrawals in less crowded places- Try withdrawing money from less crowded ATMs. The ones in cities are buzzing and oozing with mad crowds but you can check with small town ATMs which have a greater chance of having shorter queues.
- Use PayTM wallet- The transactions through digital wallets have seen a surge after the demonetisation move and that too particularly through PayTM. So go ahead and open a PayTM account. But here’s the catch, foreigners can only add 10,000 rupees to their wallet in PayTM. Solution for this is that you can give your trusted Indian friends some money and they can help you pay for the things through their PayTM wallet.
- Find taxis through apps- Download apps like Ola, Uber or Meru so that you can pay for them through your credit card or digital wallet. The added advantage is that you find cabs quickly and without any unnecessary hassle.
- Small denomination notes still working- The people who are have already arrived in India for travelling should try exchanging their higher denomination currency notes either at the airports at the time of arrival or through banks during their time of stay.
- Follow news updates- You can follow daily news updates on demonetisation through social media and get to know what latest developments are there.
Latest update on November 25th says that over the counter exchange of scrapped currency notes has been stopped except at RBI counters and payments for transactions in exempted categories will now be done only using 500 rupees notes.