Debit card payments
A shop assistant uses an eftpos system at a Specialty Fashion Group owned Katies store in Sydney [Representational Image].Reuters File

Amid the demonetisation chaos when most people are staring at a cash crunch with ATMs dried up and long serpentine queues becoming a normal sighting in front of all banks in the country, there is a silver lining for those manufacturing handy point-of-sale (PoS) devices. 

As one of the objectives of the move announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to lead India to a cashless economy, there has been a sudden surge in demand for PoS terminals that are used to process card payments at retail locations. 

"The liquidity crunch has forced merchants who have hitherto relied only on cash transactions to place orders for POS machines, while e-commerce companies are turning from cash-on-delivery (CoD) to 'card-on-delivery...the employees at the facility have been working multiple shifts as we have increased the pace of production. Shipments have also gone up this week," Bhaktha Keshavachar, CTO at Bengaluru-based Ezetap, was quoted saying by the Economic Times.

Mswipe, a mobile point-of-sale (mPoS) solutions provider, also registered a similar surge as merchants across industries are seeking PoS terminals and card-swiping machines.

"Those (terminals) are being installed on a daily basis. Typically, we sign up around 10,000 merchants a month, and we are now projecting it to double…The upsurge in demand is a good problem to have. Employees are putting in extra hours and we are making sure that terminals are delivered and activated. Ultimately, it comes down to distribution and ability to process the requests," said Manish Patel, founder of Mswipe.

The number of daily requests placed for PoS machines has increased to 140-150 from 20-30, while for card-swipe machines, just this past week, the number has increased to 2,000 enquiries per day as compared to 100, according to the data on business to business (B2B) online marketplace IndiaMart.

However, interestingly, rather than a temporary trend, the adoption of card payments is being seen as a sustained shift, according to Pine Labs, one of the largest provider of card-swipe machines in the country.

The spike in repeat customers and adoption and demand of newer technologies, such as sound-based proximity transaction offered by fintech start-up ToneTag, suggest that this may be a long-term trend, according to Pine Labs.