RBI defers deployment of Aadhaar based PoS terminals till June of next year


MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India has deferred the mandatory implementation of Aadhar enabled Point of Sale terminals by six months to June accepting that capacity to produce such machines is scarce and it could result in the slowing down of deployment of payment terminals.

“It has been brought to our notice that the rate of deployment of acceptance infrastructure has slowed down owing to the mismatch between demand and supply of such Aadhaar-enabled devices. It has been decided to extend the time for deployment of Aadhaar-enabled devices till June 30, 2017,” read the notification that the regulator released on Friday.

On September 29 the RBI had issued a circular stating that Aadhaar enabled PoS terminals were to be mandatorily installed by January of next year. However this had got the entire terminals installing and supplying industry by surprise as there was hardly any clarity as to how to implement this drastic change.

“There is no clarity as to how the transaction will flow, if the customer will need to swipe his card, punch the Aadhaar number or will biometrics act as the second factor of authentication. Unless these intricacies are cleared POS manufacturers cannot develop Aadhaar enabled POS machines within the mentioned deadline,” said Manish Patel, founder of Mswipe which deploys mobile POS terminals had told ET post the notification.

Post the withdrawal of old 500 and 1000 denomination notes from circulation, banks have been under tremendous pressure to acquire new PoS terminals to facilitate non-cash transactions. However with the latest guidelines bankers were in a fix as such machines were not available in the market yet.

“The instructions are for deployment of new card acceptance infrastructure. As regards enablement of existing card acceptance infrastructure for Aadhaar-based biometric authentication, the timeline will be advised in due course,” clarified the regulator.