The number of point of sale(POS) machines have been increased to 2.9 million, up 93% from 1.48 million as compared to last year, according to data published by RBI. Note that the RBI data only shows machine statistics from banks and does not include the number devices from third-party players like MSwipe, Ezetap, ItzCash and Oxigen, says a media report.
The rise in the number of POS machines is due to a concentrated effort by the government to improve the number of terminals following the demonetization of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes. During the 2017-18 budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the goal of setting up 10 lakh POS terminals in the country. However, there is still a concentration of POS from the top banks in the country.
State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Ratnakar Bank continued to have the highest number of POS terminals accounting for almost 72% of all terminals in the country. In addition, SBI has 0.64 million (641,938) machines which is the highest amongst top five banks.
Prior demonetization, there were around 1.5 million POS machines. In September 2017, they raised to 2.9 million machines.
During demonetization, the impact could be seen from November 2016 to March 2017; between this period more than 1 million POS machines were installed. In terms of net additions, the number of Point-of-sale machines grew by 0.02 (17,616) million in September 2017 – the lowest addition ever. In the previous month (August 2017), the number of POS machines had increased by 0.04 (42,309) million.