Reliance Jio, the company that has single-handedly changed the way Indians consume internet, is now aiming its eyes on the lucrative fintech sector in India.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company is reportedly getting into the point-of-sale (PoS) devices space and has launched pilots with merchants in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune.
Merchants have to deposit $42.58 ( INR 3K) to get hold of the device and for all debit and credit card transactions up to $28.39 ( INR 2K) in value, the merchant discount rate (MDR) would be zero. MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank every time a debit/credit card is swiped for payments in their stores.
For its PoS devices, Jio is partnering with Hindustan Unilever for acquiring merchants. Going through the largest FMCG brand’s distribution network, it shows Reliance is seeking deeper penetration with high touch points for its PoS devices.
Jio joins the party of Indian companies and startups who are rolling out their PoS services, like Paytm which is reportedly working to enable physical point-of-sales (PoS) terminals for its merchants.
Also, Gurugram-based PayUMoney has launched its PoS business terminals with no monthly rental, no minimum balance criterion, and an option to link to any bank account. Further, Payswiff (earlier Paynear) had also introduced a PoS terminal.
In July, Flipkart’s digital payment subsidiary PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail – a hyperlocal Point of Sale (POS) platform for small and medium businesses.
All these players are competing with major (and traditional) merchant acquirers in the PoS business like HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and the State Bank of India.
According to Inc42 DataLabs, so far, total funding of $406 Mn has been raised by Indian digital POS terminal startups. Some of the notable POS terminal providers here are Ezetap, Mswipe, Pine Labs, Innoviti, Mosambee, Payswiff (earlier known as Paynear), among others. Pine Labs has so far secured the highest funding of $227 Mn with more than half the amount — $125 Mn — being raised this year.
India’s market for PoS terminals is expected to cross $3 Bn by 2024, according to Global Market Insights, led by an increase in the number of digital transactions post demonetization and the resulting growth in the digital infrastructure required to support payments across several modes, from cards to wallets and bank transfers.