‘India needs 20 m point of sale terminals’

Banks’ digital initiatives should focus more on rural areas

December 22, 2015 11:04 pm | Updated March 24, 2016 11:29 am IST - MUMBAI:

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says there is need for increasing the number of alternative delivery channels in rural areas, as banks are more focusing mainly in metropolitan and urban centres.

“The proliferation of digital channels is evident mostly in the Tier-I and Tier-II centres of the country. Digital channels must be available in Tier-III to Tier-VI centres as well,” R. Gandhi, Deputy Governor, RBI, said during his speech at an event organised by National Payments Corporation of India. The RBI Deputy Governor said it was of critical importance that the population in over six lakh villages in the country is exposed to the alternate delivery channels.

“Some estimates indicate that to reach the average levels of BRIC countries, India will need 20 million (Point of Sale) PoS terminals as against the current 1.2 million. This is a tall order,” he said.

The PoS terminals are used for facilitating debit and credit card transactions.

“The payments landscape in India is also changing and is changing fast,” Mr. Gandhi said adding that to reach out to all segments of the society, Interoperability is the key and a critical ingredient to evolving larger payment ecosystems.

Mr. Gandhi also said the retail payments in the next three to five years were likely to be driven essentially through mobile payments.

“This is to ride on over 1 billion mobile connections in the country and the financial inclusion drive,” he said.

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