Beggars in China go cashless to get alms

Beggars in China go cashless to get alms

After demonetisation, the government of India has encouraged people to use the cashless transaction.  People have also embraced the digital transaction due to its advantages like a discount, convenience, freebies and safety.

In other words, we are living in a cashless society where people are using internet banking and e-wallet for their money transaction.  However, our neighbouring country China has earned a unique reputation in this field.

The frenzy of digital payment has increased so much in China that even beggars are using mobile payment to get alms.  It sounds weird and freaky but it is a fact. Beggars in China are seen with Quick Response (QR) code hanging in their neck or placed beside them.


Image courtesy: Mirror

Carrying the printout of a sponsored QR code, they ask the passersby to scan the code with e-wallet apps like WeChat or AliPay.  Later, the beggars are paid by small businesses or local start-ups for every scan.

These businesses and start-ups pay the beggars ¥ 0.7 to 1.5 for each scan.  Then they compile the user data of these apps and sell the data to big companies who show the users advertisements on the apps.

In this way, the beggars are earning up to ¥ 18,000 monthly.  The most surprising fact is that beggars need not own a mobile phone as they are paid by local investors on the basis of the total number of scans.

One another interesting fact is that persons scanning the QR code have to pay not a single penny.  They just have to scan the sponsored QR sheet.  So a culture of e-begging is prevalent in China where almsgiver, beggars, small businesses and big companies are happy.

The system of QR code was invented by a Japanese company Denso Wave in 1994.  Its purpose was to track vehicles during manufacturing.  Now it is used in a wide range of applications such as website design, wifi network login, digital payment, virtual stores, encryption, video games and mobile operating system.

People have advanced with time.  Mobile payments in India are exploding.  So we should not be surprised if a beggar is seen with QR sheet in an Indian province as well.

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