As faster, more convenient, and cheaper payment methods gain popularity, India-specific innovations such as stripped down POS devices will help digitise merchant payments in smaller towns and cities.
Two payment companies, Paytm and Pine Labs, on September 4 launched stripped-down versions of a full-fledged Point of Sale (POS) device that can accept payments through both the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and credit cards. But there is a slight catch.
The devices can only accept tap-and-pay card payments enabled through near-field communication (NFC) technology. They cannot accept swipe payments. For transactions above Rs 5,000, a customer would need to swipe and pay according to the norms laid down by the regulator, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Paytm launched what it calls a ‘Card Soundbox’ that can announce and display both types of transactions. It comes with a rental charge of Rs 995 per month. Paytm Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that this will popularise card payments in India’s smaller towns.
Pine Labs, one of the largest full-fledged POS players in the country, launched the ‘Mini’, which costs a third of a regular POS machine at Rs 1,999.