SoftPoS
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Could SoftPoS Be the Answer to India’s Digital Payments Infrastructure Problem?

Soft Point-of-Sale (PoS) will play a vital role in increasing India’s penetration of digital payments, especially so in semi-urban and rural areas.

This was the primary finding of a new report ‘Supporting digital payments adoption via the promise of softPoS’, which has been published by the Indian payments and API banking solutions company Cashfree Payments in partnership with The Digital Fifth; India’s first fintech consulting and advisory firm.

The report highlights the importance of softPoS and the role that it can play in increasing the penetration of digital payments, especially in semi-urban and rural areas across India.

SoftPoS is quite a new form of fintech that has come into prominence for its ability to close the financial inclusion gap.

Essentially, SoftPoS allows merchants to accept card payments directly on their phones or devices without the need for any additional software.

The benefit that the softPoS brings here is that it is a simple app/software development kit (SDK), creating payments acceptance infrastructure that is low-cost and easy to distribute.

Any merchant can commence accepting payments via an app download onto a near field communication (NFC) enabled device, quickly converting it into a PoS terminal without any additional hardware like a card reader or separate installation.

SoftPoS thus allows the quick and easy acceptance of card, UPI, QR code and payments link-based payments for merchants, even on their existing smartphones and other devices.

For small and medium businesses, factors like cost, time for acquisition and maintenance become a barrier to PoS’s adoption, leading to a preference for cash payments.

Secondly, another critical factor is the high dependency on the imported physical PoS terminals.

As an alternative, softPoS can work as a game-changer to foster digital payments, owing to increased internet and smartphone penetration in semi-urban and rural areas.

Even for larger businesses, the ease of its deployment and its portability makes it a good choice for specific use-cases.

Akash Sinha, CEO and Co-Founder, Cashfree Payments
Akash Sinha

“We believe that softPoS can be one of the major solutions that will help drive digital payments in India and enhance customer experience,” explains Cashfree Payments CEO and co-founder Akash Sinha.

“Cashfree Payments are already working towards offering smart and simple softPoS solutions for a sustainable digital payments ecosystem and intend to provide merchants with an easy, safe and instant payments infrastructure.”

The full report discusses the evolution of the PoS terminal, the changing payments landscape with UPI’s entry and the softPoS’s potential to level the playing field for cards in the offline space.

It also delves into the specific advantages the softPoS offers for specific businesses from retailers to restaurants to service providers to the government, alongside the many steps providing essential regulatory support coming in and the challenges that remain with the softPoS’s adoption.

Sameer Singh Jaini, founder and CEO of The Digital Fifth
Sameer Singh Jaini

Sameer Singh Jaini, founder and CEO of The Digital Fifth added: “SoftPoS will embrace merchants, right from the smallest kirana stores to MSMEs, into the digital financial fray. This will boost growth from the grassroots and propel financial inclusion.

“It will also go on to form the foundation for embedded PoS in mobile apps, a feat which was not possible before now. This will drastically enhance the payment process for all entities involved as well as seamlessly integrate the tedious procedure of reconciliation.

“We must brace ourselves for the incoming innovative use cases that will positively impact the payments ecosystem.”

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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