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Indian mPOS set to revolutionize Indian retail sector
Indian retail market is evolving at a rapid pace riding on technology innovations and customers' changing preferences for superior shopping experience.

A lot of changes had happened during the last decade at Point of Sale (POS) counters as customers increasingly prefer cash-less transactions, and businesses have readily adopted right payment solutions for faster check-outs and better store management.

One of the best ways the brick-and-mortar retailers can handle faster check-outs at their stores is via mobile-POS devices. These devices are like hand-held smart phones that are capable of accepting payments through cards, providing instant receipts and storing data for managing inventory, sales and other back-end business functions.

India, with close to 500 million credit/debit card holders and 700 million smart phone users, set to trigger cash-less transactions through mobile POS devices and online transactions, say analysts.

As per an estimate by the country's leading banker Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India needs another 20 million M-POS devices in five years from the current 1.2 million sets to provide alternative retail delivery channels to both urban and rural populace across the country.

Predicting that M-POS will be a game changer for Indian payment market in 2020, Bhaskar Venkatraman, founder-director of JusTransact.com, India's first e-commerce marketplace exclusively for Point Of Sale (POS) technology and solutions, said: "There are two reasons which can trigger the growth of M-POS in India – mobile devices becoming ubiquitous across the country with widespread internet penetration and customers craving for enhanced shopping experience with fast, convenient and cash-less transactions. M-POS then becomes the natural choice to bridge the gap and promote card-based commerce for retailers. Also, fast evolving technology has changed the use cases of M-POS devices. Along with M-POS, we also expect more demand for Tablet POS and Cloud POS devices as the present generation retailers are more inclined to use latest technology to offer sophisticated shopping experience to buyers."

Apart from the convenience in transactions and high customer experience, retail businesses choose mPOS devices to close the deal the moment customers make a decision on products without giving them time to change their mind when they proceed towards the checkouts, says Nimish Chandra, who manages a retail showroom selling electronic home appliances in Bangalore.

Despite the anticipated surge of these 'anywhere commerce devices,' Bhaskar doesn't expect that mPOS will replace the traditional POS terminals in the near future.

"I think, to begin with, there will be a very little displacement due to mPOS in emerging markets like India where traditional POS systems are still ruling the roost. However, in the SMB environments, tablets will offer an attractive to traditional POS and mPOS. The displacement will be minimal at least for the next five years," Bhaskar, who is also a domain expert in POS technology, feels.

He predicts that India will emerge as a leader in mPOS users in the Asia-Pacific region by 2019 as there has been a huge dependency on cash-on-delivery for e-commerce transactions which will open the gates for millions of mPOS deployments across the country.

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