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Updated: Reliance Industries Shortlisted to Deploy PoS Machines For PSU Banks

RIL Reliance Industries Limited Reliance Group

Reliance Industries group firm Reliance Payment Services is among the companies shortlisted by public sector banks to manage and deploy at least 2 million Point-of-sale (POS) debit and credit card swipe machines across merchants in smaller towns over the next two years, reports The Times of India.

The report states that around 28 public sector banks will be outsourcing their swipe machines to four service providers and IDBI Bank will be conducting a reverse auction process to award these contracts. However, there is currently no specific information on which banks are participating in this initiative.

Interestingly, Sequoia Capital-backed Prizm Payments is also apparently in the fray to manage these swipe machines along with other contenders like the Financial Software & Systems (FSS) and AGS Infotech, as indicated by the report.

Remember that the Finance Ministry had issued a circular to all Public sector banks (PSB) to promote online payments last June. It had also directed them to make payments to their customers, vendors, and suppliers electronically instead of paying via cheques from July 1, 2012.

RIL 4G strategy: It will be quite interesting to see how this PoS deployment will fit into RIL’s 4G plans, when the company rolls out 4G service in India. Remember that RIL was planning to offer financial services, including a payment gateway in May 2011 and was in talks with the US based Banking & financial products company American Express for this initiative, however there is no further information on this deal.

While the company hasn’t revealed any official timeline for the 4G rollout yet, reports suggest that RIL is planning to roll out 4G service in Mumbai and Delhi in mid 2013 and had inked contracts with Ericsson and Samsung to build the network, IBM for IT integration and Microsoft for security solutions. The company is also apparently planning to launch large scale WiFi networks in Mumbai and Delhi and had reportedly inked a contract with Ericsson to set up around 30,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across commercial buildings, offices and malls in these regions.

Reliance Jio Infocomm (Previously Reliance Infotel) is also planning to launch a video ad network and had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Siemens for homeland security solutions which will leverage RIL’s 4G network in September 2011. It had also partnered with Moscow-based Spirit DSP to license Spirit’s TeamSpirit Video and Voice engine to its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm (previously Infotel) to provide Skype-like video and voice calling services (VVoIP) to its subscribers and had bid for an internal security deal worth Rs 1,000 crore, for installing CCTV cameras at all major traffic junctions in Mumbai in May 2012.

Prizm Payment PoS Solutions: On the other hand, Prizm payments handles transactions through ATM and PoS and it had processed a total of $30 billion worth transactions through PoS networks last fiscal while the total ATM transactions processed were over $400 Billion. The company had also tied up with Axis Bank and Mswipe Technologies, to launch a mobile-based card acceptance service or mobile POS terminal called Swipeon in July 2012. Prizm Payments claimed to have 30,000 point of sale processing devices and 10,000 ATMs in the country as of July 2012 and had received the government nod to set up, own and operate White Label ATMs (WLAs) in India last month. We have contacted Prizm Payments for more information on this rollout and will update the post when we hear from them.

Corrigendum: The headline and the article had incorrectly mentioned that Prizm Payments is deploying PoS machines for PSU Banks. It has now been corrected.

(With Inputs From Vikas SN)

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