PhonePe Launches Affordable PoS Machines; Eyeing Offline Expansion
PhonePe's PoS might seem like an offline sale, but it will be very much digital in the background.
PhonePe and Mobikwik lead in the digital payments sector followed by Paytm.
PhonePe Launching Affordable PoS Machines
E-commerce giant Flipkart’s payments arm, PhonePe has launched a low-cost point-of-sale (PoS) machine, as part of their strategy to expand into the offline market. They will compete against e-wallet leader Paytm, who presently has a strong offline presence in the country through its QR codes payments model.
The low-cost PoS device from PhonePe will double up as a calculator, and will help with offline daily transactions. It comes equipped with Bluetooth. Hence, it does not require internet connection to work.
The company will pilot the low-cost PhonePe PoS device at some 5,000 merchants in Bengaluru, before a final roll-out across top 10 Indian cities, by the next quarter.
The PhonePe PoS device will be available with a security deposit of Rs. 699/-. The company plans to go city by city, as it requires merchant education.
The PoS device will get powered by AA batteries. It resembles a calculator integrated with an extra set of buttons to accept payments. Payment will be initiated by the consumer’s PhonePe mobile application, and it will work via bluetooth. The money thus transferred, will directly be deposited in the merchant’s bank account.
The recent RBI guidelines have mentioned that wallet-specific QR codes will not work. They need to have interoperable QR codes, which will give PhonePe PoS devices a direct advantage over Paytm’s QR code based payment solution.
The target market primarily for the these PoS devices would be local merchants, kirana stores and fuel stations among others.
The PoS device will also be used by Flipkart’s logistics arm, Ekart which will help them to convert the CoD transactions to PoS-enabled payments.
Flipkart has committed to invest $500 million into PhonePe, which makes it one of the largest commitments in the Indian digital payments space till now.
PhonePe will keep adding extensions and accessories to their PoS devices for reconciliation, depending on the response.
MobiKwik Hires Top Executives For Offline Expansion
The e-wallet major MobiKwik very recently hired some top level executives to help them to strengthen their interface, and manage the business of offline digital payments.
The Gurgaon-based digital payments company is working to strengthen their technological interface to support and facilitate offline transactions.
The company grew multi-fold, post demonization in the last one year. It presently has a user-base of more than 260 million. The company is working towards making the payments app more prevalent in the country.
Among the new hires, there are some big names like Rukaiya Rangwala (Jabong vice president) and deputy general counsel Lokesh Rajpal (formerly with Flipkart).
MobiKwik is planning to venture into newer domains of personal and consumer finance, and will expand into lending and insurance with a probable Payments Bank in the future.
What do you think of these e-commerce majors’ offline expansion plans? Will they succeed?
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