WITH THE Chandigarh Administration asking traders to install point of sale (PoS) machines to facilitate customers, banks are facing shortage of swipe machines as they have been flooded with applications from traders post-demonetisation. Around 10,000 shopkeepers in the city have applied for PoS machines with their respective banks, but are yet to get the machines.
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Chairman of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal Charanjiv Singh said, “Because there is less cash, even a small shopkeeper who runs a confectionery store wants a PoS machine. Around 10,000 shopkeepers associated with Chandigarh Beopar Mandal have applied, but are yet to get the machines.”
He added, “The administration wants us to go cashless and this is not practically possible as of now because most of the banks are not providing the PoS machines.”
However, K S Thakur, general secretary of the National Confederation of Bank Employees, said, “Orders have been placed for these machines. As every small shopkeeper is asking for a PoS machine, the stock is almost finished with most of the banks. The new stock is expected to reach within 10 to 15 days.”
The machines, Thakur said, are manufactured in Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and are imported from abroad as well. The machines are procured by the headquarters and cannot be taken by any zonal or branch office.
Devendra Kumar, general manager of State Bank of Patiala, Sector 8, Chandigarh, said: “There are two-three suppliers in the country. In fact, what we got to know is that the stock is not available with the suppliers. Usually, orders are placed by banks at least three months in advance and because everybody is switching over to cashless mode, the demand for PoS machines has increased suddenly.”
There are two types of PoS machines — one a fixed line machine and the other a wireless machine. While some traders purchase the machines costing between Rs 800 and Rs 5,000 (different charges for fixed line and wireless) from banks, some banks give the machines free of cost and charge a monthly rent varying from Rs 250 to Rs 700. Banks even waive the rental charges in case of old customers who get a good earning to banks by using PoS machines through the transaction charges.
A banker said, “Before the demonetisation, the demand was for 10 machines in a month and it has now gone up to 1,000 machines in a month. One individual is taking two to three machines.”
With an aim to become a cashless society from December 10, the Chandigarh Administration is pressing the traders to go cashless.
On this, Charanjiv Singh said, “People can’t be forced to go cashless. Traders are practically facing some problems and it is not possible to stop accepting cash.” see also page 2