The number of point of sale (PoS) machines increased to 5.04 million in June 2020, up 24% from 4.07 million in June 2019, according to data published by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It’s worth noting that 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.
PoS machine usage has risen following demonetization 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. Prior to demonetization, there were around 1.5 million PoS machines. As of June 2020, that number has now climbed to 5.04 million. However, operations of PoS machines are still concentrated between 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 June 2020. Ratnakar Bank has 1.31 million (1,308,183) machines, which is the highest among the top five banks.
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 slightly grew by 0.02 million (16,871) in June 2020. In the previous month (May 2020), the number of PoS machines had declined by 0.06 million (62,726). Net additions to PoS machines has been unimpressive this financial year, as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in nationwide lockdown since March-end. However, it has recovered slightly, with 20,000 PoS machines being added in June 2020.