The number of point of sale (PoS) machines increased to 4.88 million in November 2019, up 39% from 3.51 million in November 2018, according to data published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It’s worth noting that the RBI data only shows machine statistics from banks and does not include the number of devices from third-party players like MSwipe, Ezetap, ItzCash and Oxigen, among others.
The rise in the number of PoS machines was due to a concentrated effort by the government to improve the number of terminals, following the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes in 2016. During the 2017-18 budget, the then finance minister late Arun Jaitley had reiterated the goal of setting up 10 lakh PoS terminals in the country.
However, operations of PoS machines are still concentrated among a few banks. State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Ratnakar Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank accounted for almost 76% of all terminals in the country as of November 2019. Ratnakar Bank has 1.34 million (1,340,289) machines, which is the highest among the top five banks.
Prior to demonetization, there were around 1.5 million PoS machines. In November 2019, that number has now climbed to 4.88 million.
The impact of demonetization could be seen between November 2016 and March 2017. In this period, more than 1 million PoS machines were installed. In terms of net additions, the number of PoS machines grew by 0.06 million (57,944) in November 2019. In the previous month (October 2019), the number of PoS machines had increased by 0.24 million (235,347).