Bank officials have been asked to procure POS (Point-of-Sale) machines by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and distribute it to all commercial outlets, small and big, in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Outlets right from road-side paan shops and local salons will soon have a way to make customers’ transactions digital. Commercial establishments are open to introducing them too because of no banking charges being levied on them for using POS.
Reportedly, nine days after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, out of the 1104 ATMs in the city only 40 are equipped to dispense the new Rs 2000 notes. Majority of the ATMs are yet to be recalibrated with the new notes. The few ATMs which do hold the new notes run dry in an hour. Despite the amount in ATMs being sufficient for 200-250 people per ATM, the machines run out of cash after 100 transactions due to people using multiple cards to withdraw money, causing inconvenience to others.
The Road Transport Authority (RTA), AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), police department, government hospitals, stamps and registration department, temples, tourism officers dealing with ticket bookings and wine shops operated by the prohibition and excise department will soon have POS machines too. Petrol bunks have been asked to encourage use of POS machines to reduce cash transactions.
People who’ve exchanged their notes for the new Rs 2000 note face a problem too as the shortage of Rs 100 notes and delay in the printing of the new Rs 500 leads to non-acceptance of the new note. Waiving the ATM transaction charges hasn’t acquired the desired result with the shortage of notes.
Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam collectively have only 7000 POS machines, 4500 of which are in our city. Despite having as many as 44 banks, only SBI, Andhra Bank, HDFC and Axis Bank operate POS machines, 2000 by SBI alone. In the next few days, bank officials have decided to increase the number of machines to 25,000. 15,000 POS machines are required in Visakhapatnam alone.
With the percentage of transactions through POS going up to 20% from 5% before the demonetisation, it has encouraged the bankers to encourage cashless transactions. The CM urged the Union government and RBI to despatch new currency of smaller denomination notes worth Rs 10,000 crore. The RBI has despatched Rs 8000 crore worth currency in different denominations till date. The state requires Rs 10,000 crore worth more. He also urged the banks to exempt the 1.5% that is charged for digital transactions.
The state will soon have a Cashless Public Distribution System from December 1.