Long bank queues in India? There's an app for that!
 
, Posted on 23-Nov-2016


Long bank queues in India? There's an app for that!

New Delhi : Long queues snaking outside banks have become an ubiquitous sight in India two weeks after the government's shock decision to withdraw the two highest denomination notes from circulation.

But a New Delhi-based startup has a solution for those willing to pay someone to stand in line: BookMyChotu -- a play on the Hindi word "chotu" meaning "little one".

The company, originally launched as an online platform to help people hire temporary helpers, is now cashing in on the cash crunch. 

"Are you short of cash? Need a Helper to stand in queue of the bank/atm till the time your turn comes??", reads an ad on the company's Facebook page.

"Our boys will not go inside bank, they will just stand in the queue for our customers as we understand that there can be some emergency and our helpers can help you by saving your valuable time." 

A "chotu" costs 90 rupees ($1.30) per hour -- or 550 rupees for waiting for a maximum of eight hours.

All are well trained and over the age of 18, the company assured prospective customers on its Facebook page.

Indians have until the end of the year to exchange their old 500 and 1,000 notes -- 85 percent of the cash in circulation -- for the new 500 and 2,000 rupee bills, or deposit them into accounts.

The surprise decision is part of the government's assault on "Black money" -- undeclared, unaccounted cash -- and aims to bring more money into the formal banking system and ultimately boost the economy.

But it has caused a rush on the banks, while shortages of new notes and problems recalibrating ATMs to fit the new bills have seen hours-long queues form outside banks nationwide.

Since BookMyChotu, which is only available in Delhi and neighbouring cities, started its latest ad campaign, the company has received positive and curious responses, said founder and CEO Satjeet Singh Bedi.

"It started when my mother was ill and I immediately needed cash,"  Bedi told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

"I requested my teammates to stand in the queue in place of me and quickly replaced them when my turn came."

AFP


Related News

'Furious 8' leaves competition in the dust
Apr 25

'Furious 8' leaves competition in the dust

Los Angles : Universal's "The Fate of the Furious" topped the North American box office for a second weekend, industry data showed Monday, taking $38.4 million as it closed in on $1 billion worldwide. The eighth installment in the high-octane series starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson shattered records...

Read More
Kendrick Lamar scores biggest US album release of year
Apr 23

Kendrick Lamar scores biggest US album release of year

New York : Kendrick Lamar has pulled off the biggest US album debut this year with "DAMN.," an introspective work of hip-hop storytelling that features Rihanna and U2. "DAMN." sold 603,000 copies or the equivalent in streaming and downloads in the week since its April 14 release, tracking service Nielsen Music...

Read More
Tributes and discord one year after Prince death
Apr 22

Tributes and discord one year after Prince death

Chanhassen : One year after Prince's death, the pop legend's purple-clad fans converged Friday on his estate for a festive celebration, but some found it marred by commercialism and questions that still surround his overdose. Tickets were sold out for an exclusive four-day...

Read More
Hollywood honors TV slacker turned action hero Chris Pratt
Apr 22

Hollywood honors TV slacker turned action hero Chris Pratt

Los Angeles : Action star Chris Pratt swapped his superhero gear for a formal suit Friday as he was awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame for his contribution to cinema. Pratt, 37, found fame as loveable slacker Andy Dwyer on NBC comedy "Parks and Recreation"...

Read More
Scientists find footprint of unknown ancient reptile in Spain
Apr 21

Scientists find footprint of unknown ancient reptile in Spain

Barcelona : Scientists have discovered a fossilised footprint from about 247 to 248 million years ago in the Pyrenees mountains in Spain which they believe was made by a previously unknown species of reptile. The footprint was found among a series of tracks made by the ancestors of crocodiles and dinosaurs, a...

Read More
Prince Harry suffered 'total chaos' over Diana's death
Apr 17

Prince Harry suffered 'total chaos' over Diana's death

London : Britain's Prince Harry suffered "total chaos" before eventually seeking help to deal with the death of his mother Princess Diana, he said in an interview published Monday. Speaking to The Telegraph newspaper, the 32-year-old prince said he had spent years...

Read More
'Centerfold' frontman J. Geils dead at 71
Apr 12

'Centerfold' frontman J. Geils dead at 71

New York : J. Geils, the blues rock guitarist whose band topped the charts with the party-ready 1981 anthem "Centerfold," died Tuesday, police said. He was 71. The rocker, whose full name was John Warren Geils Jr., was found unresponsive when emergency personnel were called to his...

Read More
British DJ to perform world's highest gig on Everest
Apr 11

British DJ to perform world's highest gig on Everest

Kathmandu : Influential British DJ Paul Oakenfold has reached Mount Everest's base camp where he plans to host the "highest party on earth", performing a set at 5,380 metres (17,600 feet). As climbing season in Nepal kicks into gear, few of the mountaineers heading to...

Read More
'Zero recovery' for corals in back-to-back Australia bleaching
Apr 10

'Zero recovery' for corals in back-to-back Australia bleaching

Sydney : Coral bleached for two consecutive years at Australia's Great Barrier Reef has "zero prospect" of recovery, scientists warned Monday, as they confirmed the site has again been hit by warming sea temperatures. Researchers said last month they were detecting another round of mass bleaching this year after a...

Read More
Survey finds 9,600 tree species risk extinction
Apr 06

Survey finds 9,600 tree species risk extinction

London : The first ever global database of trees on Wednesday revealed that 9,600 tree species are threatened with extinction and identified a total of 60,065 in existence. Brazil is the country with the most diverse tree population, with 8,715 species, according to...

Read More