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Why it is difficult to scale POS machines in India

Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it would be setting up an acceptance development fund (ADF) to boost the card payment infrastructure in the country. The proposed ADF which will be funded by card issuers to build a corpus by diverting a percentage of their transaction revenue into the fund. Money from the fund is then invested in structured initiatives to expand acceptance infrastructure such as POS terminals. We have the dubious honour of having one of the lowest POS terminal penetration, according to an Ernst and Young report.  The report said there were only 693 machines per million of India’s population, compared to similar emerging countries such as Brazil, which has 32,995 terminals per million people and China and Russia, each of which has around 4000 terminals per million people. This was back in 2015 and the number of…

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