Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The wasteful small hundis

Money collecting vessel outside RNLI Kyle of Lochalsh Station - Detail of Coin Slot
I visited a temple yesterday and saw a person struggling to put a Rs.10 note into the pot hundi with only a small slit used to drop coins into it. To try to put the note in it, the person had folded the note into a small square of less than an inch on each side reducing the life of the note by many hand exchanges instantly. Another smarter fellow, just folded the note continuously in the vertical side keeping the height of the note constant. He then kept the note on the slit and pushed it down smoothly into it without the note getting stuck anywhere.
I guess some things are only learnt by observation.

But as I saw the first one, I was left wondering how much the central bank in India struggles and tries to educate the public to not spoil notes (by writing on it, folding it many times, soiling it, staple it, etc). By the rules of the RBI, the notes we now get in the banks are never stapled as it previously used to. The RBI spends crores of Rs. each year replacing old, worn out and soiled notes. It can definitely save a few crores if it bans small hundis and other small collection tin cans with a small slit sometimes used by beggers and sometimes used as donation boxes in shops and during crises.

Another thing that would be useful is for someone to come up with a better donation box design which is one way (money can go in, but wont drop out of the box when turned around or if the box falls). A possible enterpreneural idea? Perhaps...

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