Cash has always dominated the payment ecosystem in India. However, an increased demand for digital payments, coupled with a robust policy & infrastructure, has guided merchants towards digital payments in recent years. Today, there are multiple modes of digital payments – from something as basic as direct bank transfer via NEFT, RTGS, IMPS, to PoS machines, UPI, QR-based payments, pay-later, link-based payment options, and many more. Given that cash (notes and coins) carried a serious health hazard, the 2020 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these digital payments like never.
With the acceptance of alternative digital currencies at an all-time high, let us understand how this trend is delivering new opportunities to small business owners, even if they are in the farthest corners of our country.
The magic of PoS
Given the population diversity in India, most of the generation X and a portion of the millennials still rely heavily on debit and credit cards. This is because, they find it more convenient to physically swipe their card and receive a notification of money being debited from their account, rather than making the payment via a QR or even paying by cash. Also, over the years, card payments have emerged as a reliable and safe mode of making payments.
With an increasing number of people still dependent on payments via card swiping, market research estimates suggest PoS devices would displace traditional payment methods, thereby increasing the number of installed devices from 78 million in 2019 to 161 million by 2024.
Interestingly, there has been a lot of innovation in the POS devices over the last few years. Today, there are PoS devices that not only accept cards, but also support payments via mobile wallets, QR codes (displayed on screen) as well as via loyalty points. Some devices are even capable of performing key business functions for the merchant like managing ledgers and accounts. All of this translates into comfort and ease for the merchants, who are in turn able to offer a better experience to their customers.
Merchants and retailers across the country from diverse sectors such as food, pharmacy, electronics and telecom are swiftly adopting PoS machines. This trend is no longer limited to large enterprises and retail chains. Today, small retailers are also adopting POS to accept card/ digital payments. The frequent usage and acceptability of POS is an outcome of the digital age which has ushered in with smartphones, low cost internet and robust online payment networks. With the pandemic, digital payment systems have further strengthened their position, thereby making transactions quick, easy, and secure for the customers.
BharatSwipe – Zero transaction-fee, zero rental, great potential!
BharatSwipe is a win-win deal as it allows merchants, retailers, and small businesses to accept digital payments, without making a huge dent on their pockets. There is no monthly rental associated with BharatSwipe, unlike the usual norm in case of other PoS market players. By waiving off all kinds of fees, BharatPe has been able to capture a large number of unexplored merchants (who never had a POS machine). Additionally, it is able to take POS to smaller towns and cities, as well as across all categories of merchants.
There are already more than 50,000 happy merchants using BharatSwipe in the market. The company’s POS business growth from 0 to US$2 bn in just 3 months of the launch is historic and the best in the industry. It is clocking over Rs. 900 crores/ month on its PoS machines. The card acceptance business is poised to grow and BharatPe has set ambitious targets to expand this business in the coming year.