POS machine

POS – The Jack of all Trades

Digital payments have seen a stupendous surge over the last few years due to factors such as Demonetisation & the pandemic.

Digital payments have seen a stupendous surge over the last few years due to factors such as Demonetisation & the pandemic. Owing to this surge, the Indian consumer today has a plethora of options to pay from – digital wallets, cards, UPI QR codes, Tap & Pay and of course cash. According to the Economic Survey 2021-22, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is currently the single largest retail payment platform in India in terms of volume of transactions. Additionally, according to the data published by RBI, as of December 2021, there were more than 5.4 million PoS terminals deployed across the country compared to 4.6 million PoS terminals in January 2021.

While PoS machines traditionally facilitated card swipes at prominent retail stores or organised chains, they are increasingly gaining popularity across tier 3 & 4 cities. In the past few years, the modest PoS device has evolved from being a mere swipe machine to an almost full-fledged payment solution/platform. These machines have created a niche across the payment value chain – catering to both cash & digital users with offerings such as Cash@PoS. Such facilities have helped many customers access cash/currency at their nearby Kirana store, especially during the lockdown.

Multi-faceted, the PoS devices have shown immense versatility as it has moulded themselves to fit into various retail setups. From a mPoS or mobile PoS, which is popular among mom-and-pop shops, to the new-age Android PoS capable of supporting analytics & other revenue-generating services, PoS has also transformed into a payment platform that empowers merchants to offer more targeted solutions to their customer base.

A leading player in this space is Ongo by AGS Transact Technologies Ltd (AGSTTL). The Ongo ecosystem enables merchants to offer contact-based & contactless digital payments at POS terminals through debit and credit cards, Bharat QR and UPI. The new-age Ongo PoS terminal offers merchants an integrated ecosystem for end-to-end payments, reconciliation and analytics. Other offerings from the house of Ongo include a Merchant Analytics Application and Portal named Paytrack, Loans Against Card Receivables (LACR), Ongo Prepaid and Rewards programs, and integration with Ongo Billing++ (billing software) which can help merchants increase business avenues & add value to the end-user.

PoS terminals have been instrumental in streamlining payments for the e-commerce sector and across fuel retail outlets. For instance, Ongo has partnered with leading Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to offer various value-added services on PoS terminals such as loyalty/reward programs, inventory management, easy loans and motor insurance.

Soon, the usage of PoS machines may continue to increase across the country owing to favourable regulatory changes such as interoperability and the introduction of open-loop cards like the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC). Due to the various aforementioned factors, a PoS device is becoming a ubiquitous part of the business interconnecting the entire retail, transit, and petroleum value chain while benefitting both merchants & consumers alike. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the POS device may evolve from being a payment terminal to a comprehensive platform offerings services such as retail-store-in-a-box, fuel-station-in-a-box & bank-branch-in-a-box.


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