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Notwithstanding demonetisation, who needs cash anymore? Anyway, the new notes aren’t particularly gorgeous (*cough* Monopoly money *cough*). Today, you can look after most of your expenses digitally, with your smartphone as the magic wand. Though does that mean exclusively cash-less travel is a reality? Not yet, but it’s headed in that direction. However, that shouldn’t stop you from relying on the solid bank of apps we already have, and if you are millennial enough, operating them should be a cakewalk.
So if you wish to ditch the wallet on your next trip, tap the download button on these:
OneAssist (iOS and Android)
Best to vacay, with a bit of securi-tay. You could go prancing about hillocks or skipping by the riverside all you want, but having an app like OneAssist in tow will guarantee you do so without any worry. After all, you can buy claimable protection plans for your home appliances, mobile phone and plastic currency. There’s more: if you have difficulty finding an ATM, the app will help you. If you’d like your cards blocked or emergency cash delivered, the app will assist you. If you need flight ticket and hotel bill settlements done, the app will do them for you. If you are looking for deals and offers...
One app to book them all. Cabto is aggregator-ception: an aggregator app for cab aggregators like Uber, Ola and Meru. It is simple to use—choose ‘Cabs’, enter the drop and pick-up locations, and every cab service’s various alternatives (such as Share, Micro, Mini, etc. for Ola) are listed in ascending order of price. It shows wait time, surge pricing, length of the journey, route, and your booking history too.
You might be wondering that the ‘Cabs’ tab in Google Maps does the same. You’re right, but it has fewer features and gives only a range for the ride cost. Also, Cabto lets you book the cab in-app (with a different interface for each aggregator) and remembers each journey so that you can select it in the future with a single click.
PhonePe/Paytm/Google Pay (iOS and Android)
I suggest you have not one, not two, but three payments apps installed for one reason: accessibility. Google Pay is purely Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based, which means it allows instant real-time payment if you just have a bank account linked to it. It works for many restaurants, shops and even cab drivers now. But most of the rest still use Paytm, which loads credit using UPI, debit/credit cards, internet banking etc. This is because it predates UPI, not many understand the system as opposed to Paytm, and Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s, the app’s founder, efforts towards proliferating the app among businesses has been commendable.
Finally, use PhonePe because many Uber/Ola drivers have been preferring it lately over Paytm.
Nearbuy (iOS and Android)
I know you’re on vacation, so you are not as stingy as otherwise, but there’s no harm in hunting for a great deal or discount. Nearbuy looks for such nearby, or in the city you are visiting. Pick among many categories—‘eat out’, ‘spa’, ‘salon’, ‘activities’ and many more—choose a deal, and proceed to pay using your credit card, debit card, internet banking or Paytm. It’s not just a deal-seeker, but also an easy way to find things to do. Anything but a deal-breaker.
Trivago (iOS and Android)
Meme-fy and laugh as you will at Abhinav Kumar, Trivago’s India head, whose TVCs with him blaring ‘Hello Trivago’ are memorable for all the wrong reasons, but this is a cracker of a hotel aggregator. With a mammoth database, exciting deals and the ease of search, you’ll find what you are looking for—be it a dorm bed or a lavish suite. If you’ve planned your stay in advance, well and good. But if you’ve landed at a place and immediately need a suitable place to stay? Trivago. No cash, only credit? Trivago. Hotel? Yeah, you get the picture.
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