State Bank of India (SBI) plans to install 2.5 lakh point-of-sale (PoS) terminals by March and will place an additional order of one lakh terminals next week to meet the demand, deputy managing director Manju Agarwal told FE, adding that the bank has already placed an order for 1.5 lakh PoS devices.
According to Agarwal, the bank has installed 45,000 PoS terminals in the 50 days of demonetisation taking their total PoS machines to 3.85 lakh. “Our target is part of the the government’s push to install one million PoS machines in the three months to March,” she said, adding that the demand for PoS is much greater than what banks are able to supply. At present, SBI charges a monthly rental of up to R400 for deploying PoS along with an installation charge of up to R500.
RBI data showed that till October 2016, India has 15.12 lakh PoS terminals, of which SBI owned 3.42 lakh devices. According to the data, SBI is followed by HDFC Bank at 2.95 lakh PoS and Axis Bank at 2.76 lakh terminals. Following demonetisation of high value currency notes on November 8, value of transactions at PoS terminals has seen a huge jump to R40,160.43 crore in December (till December 30) from R35,240 crore in November.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in December capped merchant discount rates, or the fee paid by merchants to banks for using PoS terminals, at 0.25% for transactions of under R1,000, 0.5% for transactions between R1,000 and R2,000, and at 1% for transactions more than R2,000.