ESSAR’S HAZIRA TOWNSHIP GOES CASHLESS, A FIRST BY A PRIVATE PLAYER

Post demonetisation, digital payment has become the buzzword across India. Companies, organisations as well as individuals are doing their bit to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi achieve the goal of cashless economy. Giving a much-needed boost to this initiative, Essar Steel has converted one of its township near Surat totally cashless.

Essar Steel’s Nand Niketan township at Hazira in Gujarat’s Surat district has become the first private township to go cashless with the help of The Mobile Wallet (TMW), a Mumbai-based financial technology company. “The pilot project involved adoption of TMW’s twin offering — the smartphone-based TMW app and the Mastercard-enabled TMW and RBL Bank co-branded pre-paid card, which has almost universal acceptance at all outlets and billers that accept Mastercard in India,” Essar Steel said in a statement. The Mobile Wallet is powered by RBL Bank Ltd.

While the TMW app has had more than 12,000 downloads, over 8,000 TMW-RBL Bank pre-paid cards have been issued to a wide range of users in Surat, including Essar employees and their families residing in the Hazira township, merchants and shopowners operating within its precincts, as well as contract labourers working at various Essar facilities. All of the 40-odd merchants at the township accept payments made through the TMW app and pre-paid card.

Rishi Kalantri, Head, Cashless Townships, TMW, said it started the pilot project at Hazira in December 2016 — almost immediately after the Prime Minister launched the demonetisation drive. “An average of Rs 2 lakh worth of digital transactions are being executed every day. More than 1,000 daily transactions, including mobile recharges, payments made for groceries and daily needs, and settling of restaurant bills, are being recorded daily using the TMW wallet app,” he added.

All Essar employees now get a nominal part of their salary as a credit into their TMW wallets. The collector’s office in Surat has personally appreciated our efforts in making digital payments a way of life in the township, said Ralph Sunil, Vice-President, Administration and CSR, Essar Steel.


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