Chinese PMT Turns Android Smartphones Into POS Machines In Merchants Push
PMT said on Tuesday it is turning NFC-enabled Android smartphones into point-of-sale machines, as it looks to win more merchants in one of the world's largest mobile payments markets. A PMT merchant partner will now be able to enable the card acceptance feature on their NFC-enabled smartphone from the PMT Business app, the Indian startup said. Once activated, they will be able to process a transaction by tapping a plastic card to their phone. PMT Smart POS supports Visa, Mastercard and Rupay, the startup said, whereas the amount limit on a single transaction is set to 5,000 Indian rupees, or about $69. (More than 90% of transactions in India carry a value equal to or smaller than $69, industry estimates say.) The current batch of payment devices in the market haven’t adequately reached Indian small and medium-sized businesses, most of which remain offline, said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive of PMT, at a virtual press conference today. To win these merchants, PMT has in recent years rolled out QR codes that work across several payment networks, and launched jukeboxes and other gadgets to make it easier for merchants to accept payments digitally. With today’s move, said Sharma, “the obligation of buying a POS machine, too, is no longer needed.” The startup said that most new Android smartphone models support the NFC feature. PMT also unveiled the newer generation of jukebox POS that looks similar to a QR placard. "The reason why merchants haven't actively adopted many of the existing POS machines is that they are not comfortable using them," said Dilip Asbe, head of payments body NPCI, at the virtual conference. The Indian startup, which processed more than 1.2 billion transactions last month and claimed top spot in the local mobile payments market, said it will charge a small subscription fee to merchant partners for accessing either of the aforementioned payments services. Story continues The move pits PMT against Sequoia Capital-backed Pine Labs, a market leader in the POS category but a significantly smaller startup, and also demonstrates just how aggressively PMT and other giant payment firms are expanding to cater to merchants. "Just the way, mobile phones saw an evolution from featurephone to smartphone, we believe the merchant PoS market in India is at an inflexion point to evolve from the traditional (aka dumb-PoS) to Smart-PoS. Unlike traditional PoS, which only allows transactions from debit/credit-card, some of the features of a Smart-PoS are: GST compliant bill, scanner/printer, takes all payments including UPI, is Bluetooth enabled and could be customized for different merchants as per their needs. While currently the Fintech companies are offering these devices, we expect banks to catch-up eventually," wrote analysts at Bank of America in a recent note to clients.
PMT Launches Point Of Sale App That Converts Phones Into Card Payment Machines
Digital payments firm PMT on March 9 launched a smart point of sale (PoS) application which will convert android phones into card payment machines. With this PoS application, a merchant will be able to accept payments through a debit or credit card just like a normal EDC machine - by tapping the card on the back of their smartphones. “Contactless payments or tapping to pay with a contactless card or mobile device, have fast emerged as the preferred way to pay globally with nearly 60 percent of Visa transactions outside of the US occurring with a tap. PMT’s foray into the contactless card payment ecosystem will truly help propel the adoption and usage of contactless cards across India," said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa. PMT has partnered with Visa, MasterCard, and RuPay for facilitating card payments for Smart POS. There is a limit of Rs 5,000 for a single transaction on this device. Merchants will need to sign up on the PMT for Business App, after which they will be required to download the PMT Smart POS on their android-based mobile phones. Once downloaded, merchants can start collecting payments from their customers. The payment is then collected and transferred to the merchant’s account along with other QR payments. In India, many micro retailers are yet to exploit the full range of benefits of PoS machines, or deploy UPI and QR codes for payments. This technology will come handy to them as they will not be required to purchase an additional device to start accepting payments through cards. On the other hand, it also launched an upgraded version of its IoT device Soundbox 2.0 which provides instant voice and visual confirmation to merchants in regional languages. Now merchants will not be required to check their mobile phones for confirmation which will help in increasing efficiency. This device comes equipped with a screen that gives instant visual confirmation of the paid amount along with the voice-based response. It is beneficial for merchants starting from street hawkers, medium to large retailers as it helps them maintain record of all transactions and streamlines all payments made during the day. Instant voice-based confirmations of payments also help them keep track of all transactions protecting them from getting duped by customers showing fake screens and false confirmations. Currently, it is available in five languages - English, Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Kannada. The company plans to add more regional languages including Marathi over the next few months. The company currently claims to have 1 crore merchants on its business app and is targeting 5 crore merchants over the next few years. "PMT is committed to bringing new-age financial technologies and services to 5 crore small and micro-merchants in India. Today’s launch of Soundbox 2.0 and Smart POS for Android phones expands opportunities for small businesses to experience these latest technologies at the most affordable price," said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of PMT. PMT which competes with Walmart-owned PhonePe claimed on March 1 that it has crossed 1.2 billion monthly transactions across payments methods such as Wallet, UPI, cards and internet banking, PhonePe staked its claim for digital payments market leadership on March 2, with over 1.07 billion transactions across UPI, Cards, and Wallets. On average, India clocks 3.3 billion digital transactions per month across payments methods such as UPI, credit cards, debit cards, wallets.
PMT To Turn Android Smartphones Into POS Machines For Merchants
PMT, Chinese leading digital payments platform, announced on Tuesday that it would be turning NFC-enabled Android smartphones into point-of-sale (POS) machines for merchant partners across the country. This comes after the digital payments leader had announced the launch of its ‘All-in-One’ Android POS device to help merchants accept payments through PMT Wallet, all UPI-based apps, debit and credit cards, and most importantly – cash. This update confirms that PMT merchant partners would now be able to enable the card acceptance feature from their PMT Business app. Once activated, they will be able to process a transaction by tapping a plastic card into their phone. Get ready for the transformation of an Android phone into a payments machine for vendors, merchants, home delivery services, and physical stores. This will work with all contactless credit and debit cards that run on the Mastercard, Visa, and RuPay platforms. Vijay Sekhar Sharma, founder, and CEO of PMT noted that existing payment devices have failed to reach small and medium-sized businesses in the country, most of which are offline. PMT has made moves in that direction by launching QR codes that work across several payment networks. Additionally, it had launched jukeboxes and other gadgets to make it easier for merchants to accept payments digitally. Saying that most new Android smartphone models support the NFC (Near Field Communication) feature, he added that Tuesday’s move removed the obligation of buying a POS machine. For it to work, merchants should download and activate the PMT for Business app on their Android phones, which should support the NFC feature. In the app, there will be an Accept Card Payment option, which is set to allow merchants to verify their business details and pay a setup fee for the service to get activated. Enabling contactless payment receiving via cards on the Android phone negates the need to have a separate payment machine or terminal available at that time. Earlier, the company had revealed its goal to add close to 10 million merchants to its platform over the next 12-18 months as it brings new features to its payments platform. “Over the past 18 months, we have invested much time in understanding the needs of small businesses around digital payments. We will continue to bring in features and solutions to address their challenges,” Sharma had said. The Android-based POS machine would be “about 20-30 percent cheaper and more comprehensive than the competition.” PMT, with 300 million wallets, 100 million Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and 55 million bank accounts, processed more than 1.2 billion transactions in February and is “the most comprehensive payment app and that it is bigger than all others combined in merchant mobile payments,” according to Sharma. While PMT has recorded the highest merchant signups in Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Delhi, the states of West Bengal, Assam, and Bihar registered the fastest growth in merchant transactions. Unsurprisingly, this move by PMT has pitted it even harder against POS market leader Pine Labs. What will result from the competition, that remains to be seen. PMT envisions a scenario where the importance of digital payments would increase and integrate into mainstream society to become indispensable, where this Android-enabled contactless payments system would see use physical retail stores, restaurants, and even for delivery and logistics. Analysts at the Bank of America wrote regarding POS, “Just the way, mobile phones saw an evolution from feature phone to smartphone, we believe the merchant PoS market in India is at an inflexion point to evolve from the traditional (aka dumb-PoS) to Smart-PoS. Unlike traditional PoS, which only allows transactions from debit/credit card, some of the features of a Smart-PoS are: GST compliant bill, scanner/printer, takes all payments including UPI, is Bluetooth enabled, and could be customized for different merchants as per their needs. While currently, the Fintech companies are offering these devices, we expect banks to catch-up eventually.”