The number of alternative retail delivery channels should be adequately increased to cover even the remotest areas in India and for this, cash-less transactions through POS terminals should be encouraged, says Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Directing banks to concentrate on rural areas instead of metropolitan and urban centres, RBI deputy governor R Gandhi said:
"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. He was speaking during an event organised by National Payments Corporation of India in Mumbai recently.;
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 another 20 million POS (Point of Sale) terminals as against the current 1.2 million," he said.
The PoS terminals are used for facilitating debit and credit card transactions at several retail and non-retail business establishments.
"The payments landscape in India is also changing fast," he 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.
The senior RBI official 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 added.