December 9, 2016 2:08:29 am
In a bid to push the cashless payment mode in rural areas of the country, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has said it will provide a grant of Rs 228 crore for deployment of two lakh point-of-sale (PoS) machines in one lakh villages and procurement of EMV-based debit cards for farmers.
Nabard said it will extend support to banks for deployment of two PoS devices per village in one lakh villages of Tier 5 and 6 areas having a population of up to 10,000. The estimated support will be around Rs 120 crore, it said.
“Further, to encourage adoption of new generation secure technology among farmers who are already on Rupay KCC platform, Nabard will now support procurement of EMV chip and PIN-based RuPay Kisan Cards by both regional rural banks and the rural cooperative banks,” it said. The approximate expenditure for Nabard under this will be Rs 108 crore covering around 4.32 crore KCC holders.
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Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said, “We believe that these two initiatives will have a positive impact in easing the transition to digital transactions.”
“Over the last few years, Nabard has brought nearly the entire cooperative banking system onto Core Banking Solution (CBS) platform. It had also provided financial support to select regional rural banks for moving over to CBS platform, the first pre-requisite for moving towards cashless banking services,” he said.
As per initial estimates by the finance ministry, the number of PoS machines across the country would need to jump almost 10-fold from the present 14 lakh devices to ensure that the economy grows even as physical stock of currency shrinks. Banks are expected to add another 10 lakh PoS devices by March-end. The number of PoS terminals is very low at present, as compared to the number of retail merchant establishments (1.5 crore) and small and medium enterprises (3.6 crore). Over 80 per cent of the transactions in Indian economy are conducted in cash, in contrast to developed countries average of around 20 per cent.
Banks have stepped up orders with leading global PoS terminal manufacturers, which include France-based Ingenico, US-based VeriFone, China-based PAX Technology, South Korea-based CyberNet. India’s largest lender State Bank of India has seen ten times surge in demand for PoS machines.
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