Several Indian fertiliser companies, oil marketing companies, Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis, where transactions have mainly been in cash, and the Indian railways have approached banks to place large orders for point of sale (PoS) machines, signalling the early transition towards electronic or digital payments, after the scrapping of high value notes by the government.
According to bankers familiar with the development, Deepak Fertilisers and Coromandel Fertilisers have placed orders for 2,000 and 1,000 PoS machines, respectively. State-owned OMCs — Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd together have sought 25,000 PoS machines. Currently only 3,000 retail outlets of these oil firms in India have PoS machines. Also, the Indian railways, the Customs department, a few automobiles firms and even non-banking financial companies have approached banks for PoS machines, they said. Fullerton India and Bajaj Auto have placed orders for 600 PoS each while Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company has placed an order for at least 350 machines, said sources.
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The top five PoS machine providers include the State Bank of India (3.29 lakh), HDFC Bank (2.88 lakh), Axis Bank (2.71 lakh), ICICI Bank (2.02) and Corporation Bank (1.02 lakh). Keeping in mind the huge surge in demand for PoS machines, SBI has already placed an order for import of at least 1 lakh PoS machines which is expected to be delivered in the first week of January 2017.
“Since demonetisation, SBI has seen a 214 per cent jump in transactions through PoS from 3.5 lakh transactions per day to 11 lakh transactions a day. In terms of value PoS transactions have jumped from Rs 95 crore a day to Rs 300 crore. Since demonetisation we have installed 10,000 PoS machines across the country and are currently in the process of installing another ten thousand machines,” said Manju Agarwal, deputy managing director at SBI.
According to an ICICI bank spokesperson, since demonetsation, PoS and e-commerce transactions processed using ICICI Bank debit cards have seen a 70 per cent spurt over regular volumes. Sources said that the SBI is planning to import at least 5 lakh PoS machines in the next few months. This after the government told banks to install at least 10 lakh PoS machines in the next three months. There are 14.6 lakh PoS machine in the country now.
Banks in India import PoS machines mostly from two firms -Ingenico and Verifone. Typically it takes 12 weeks for the PoS manufacturing firms to fulfil an order. However, sources said the two firms have cut down delivery time from 12 weeks to 8 weeks, keeping in mind the immediate need for such machines in India post demonetisation.
“We have indeed seen a surge in requests from several Indian banks, both usual customers and others, for additional deliveries of terminals. Most of them are asking that supplies take place before the end of the year and there might be a few opportunities early into 2017 as well. The process involves the production and customisation of the terminals. Our supply chain is organised to meet these additional requests, some of which have already been confirmed by customers,” said Martine Birot, executive V-P HR and Communications at Ingenico Group in an email.
Vinayak Prasad, general manager, South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) of Verifone said, “The announcement has certainly accelerated the move towards a cashless society and has triggered demand for PoS machines in India. We are working with our partners and customers to help address the immediate need for PoS machines in India and are committed to try and help support the urgent demand for PoS machines in the country.”