Issue cards only if you roll out POS machines: RBI to banks

Issue cards only if you roll out POS machines: RBI to banks
RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan said that the central bank is mulling linking the debit card issuances to the number of point of sale (POS) machines it puts up at merchant establishments, reported PTI.

In comments that came in the midst of a massive account opening campaign launched by banks, Khan said if there is not a commensurate increase in the POS terminals, the usage of cash will grow.

"There is a huge number of cards, but card acceptance infrastructure has to be created. Few banks are putting POS machines, other banks should be putting POS machines, they are not putting in the manner they are issuing cards," Khan told reporters on the sidelines of a industry event.

He, however, added that the RBI has not finalised anything as yet and this is only an idea it is working on.

"If you are issuing x number of cards, beyond that point, additional card issuances could be linked to how many POS you are installing," he explained.

This is the second consecutive day when the RBI brass has expressed concerns over the roll out and impact of Narendra Modi government's flagship 'Jan Dhan scheme', under which banks plan to open 7.5 crore accounts by January 26, 2015.

Governor Raghuram Rajan had asked banks to concentrate on the final aim of achieving universality in coverage and not focus on "speed and numbers" alone.

Khan said there are only 1.1 million POS machines operational in the country at present, and even within those, there are some which do not accept other banks' debit cards.

"Some banks have put their POS in such a way that that is not accepting other banks' cards. I think that is not acceptable," he said.

Like in the case of automated teller machines, where the RBI allowed private, non-bank players to install the machines called as the White Label ATMs, the RBI is also mulling to allow 'white label POS terminals', he said.

Story first published: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:20 [IST]
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