The government plans to increase the number of point of sale (PoS) machines accepting retail payments to 5.5 million in the next six months in a bid to boost digital payments.
“The government has a target of 5.5 million PoS terminals by September this year. As on today, the PoS terminals stand at 2.5 million. Another 3 million need to be added — 1 milion will be traditional PoS, another 1 million QR code and the rest 1 million will be Aadhaar-enabled,” said AP Hota, Managing Director and CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Traditional PoS machines are used to make payments with the help of debit and credit cards. QR code-enabled machines facilitate payments by scanning the QR code of a merchant account, while the Aadhaar-enabled machines use payer’s biometric fingerprint or iris scan.
All PoS terminals or machines launched after July 1 will be Aadhaar-enabled and the existing terminals will be upgraded to the same in a year’s time.
The government is targeting to increase the total digital transactions to Rs 25 billion (Rs 2,500 crore) from the current Rs 1,000 crore.
Hota said, “All will come from retail transactions including card, remittance, digital transit, toll, utility and bill payments and other transactions. We will be putting a lot more thrust on transit and utility bill payments to reach the Rs 25 billion target.”
NCPI, the umbrella organisation and platform for all retail payments in India, on Thursday, tied-up with Reliance Retail to enable in-store UPI (United payment interface)-based payments at 200 stores in Mumbai. This will be further extended to other merchants including Big Bazaar.
NPCI also plans to launch its Rupay credit cards next month. Additionally, it will launch an upgraded version of Bharat Interface for Money or BHIM 1.3 in the last week of May which will facilitate less manual inputs. “Our next target is BHIM 1.4 in which we will allow bill payments,” Hota said.