PhonePe, an online digital payments startup which is owned and operated by e-commerce startup Flipkart, has launched its own Point of Sale (POS) device.
The POS machine, which looks similar to a calculator, is available for free to merchants, but against a security deposit. It supports transactions over a Bluetooth connection instead of using active data connectivity.
The device needs a smartphone with the PhonePe app in order to process transactions. Apart from that, there is no requirement of any third-party hardware or software.
The POS hardware is powered by a AA batteries, which is claimed to provide power for around 8-12 months. As the hardware uses Bluetooth connectivity for transactions, it can enable payments through all the mobile devices that can access the PhonePe app.
In a statement, Rahul Chari, CTO of PhonePe, said,
The use of Bluetooth as the underlying technology makes the protocol used for the transaction robust and widely compatible. The solution provides several layers of security to ensure merchant and customer transaction safety.
Sameer Nigam, CEO of the company, said,
The PhonePe PoS will help accelerate the pace of digital inclusion for millions of local merchants and customers in India. At market launch, we will be giving the device for free to merchants, against a nominal security deposit. It ticks all the boxes for Indian shopkeepers to adopt digital payments rapidly—it is very cheap, easy to use and highly durable.
PhonePe will initially provide 5,000 POS devices in Bengaluru as a pilot project and then it will be launched in other cities early next year. The company will distribute the devices free of cost but will charge a refundable deposit.