BHUBANESWAR: With people facing cash crunch in their daily transactions, there has been a significant surge in demand for point-of-sale (PoS) or swipe machines by traders of different sectors. Till October this year, handheld POS machines were used by 40,000 merchants in the State. The number has increased by three folds in the last two months.
State Bank of India (SBI), Bhubaneswar Circle had set a target of supplying 3,800 machines in 2016-17. Post-demonetisation, the figure has been revised to 10,000. In November, the SBI issued around 1000 machines and as many units are in pipeline to be dispatched by December. On Tuesday alone, the bank received order of 1800 machines, DGM, ACP Gourang Behera said.
Among private banks, Axis Bank has also reported a huge surge in volume of transactions across alternate digital payment channels. Its PoS transactions have increased by 129 per cent and number of merchants acquiring the card swiping machines has also gone up by a whopping 300 per cent. Debit card transactions across India have increased by 103 per cent since November 9, an Axis Bank spokesperson said.
Debit card transactions for ICICI Bank have doubled in the last few weeks as compared to regular volumes. ‘’Credit card transactions have grown by 40 per cent. A large number of customers has used debit cards for the first time after demonetisation. The bank has increased limit of debit card use till December 31,’’ an ICICI Bank spokesperson said.
Both private and public sector banks have waived the pre-requisite for a vendor of having a current account to procure a PoS machine. ‘’Those with savings bank account and a daily transaction of `5000 can apply for the PoS machine at a nominal rent. The applicants now comprise micro-merchants, fruit sellers and petty vendors, which was not a regular trend before November,’’ Behera said.
While 95 per cent of PoS machines are imported, the rest (micro M-PoS machines) are manufactured in Bengaluru. The banks have ruled out shortage for supply as orders for PoS machines have been placed well in advance. The SBI has ordered a total of 2.50 lakh machines of which Odisha will consume around 25,000 units, sources said.