While the entire country is on its knees and from common man to legally-rich are going through a prolonged pain on account of abrupt demonetisation exercise undertaken by the Narendra Modi government, here is one segment which is laughing its way - not with cash but with cashless payments of course - to the bank. And that’s the swiping machine sellers and dealers across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Conservative estimates put forth by senior representatives of private companies involved in the sale of swiping machines revealed that there had been a 200 per cent jump in the sales of swiping machines post demonetisation, an exercise that sucked 85 per cent of the currency in circulation, forcing people to go for cashless transactions for daily sustenance. “We are clocking not 100 per cent but 200 per cent sales growth across the two Telugu states post demonetisation. There is an unprecedented rush for swiping machines and we are not really equipped to deal with such a rush. But we are happy to take part in the government efforts to increase cashless transactions. Besides, our companies will post good sales growth,” a senior manager of a swiping machine company told The Hans India. He was not willing to be quoted as he was not authorised to interact with the media.
More than four companies are involved in the retail sales of swiping machines in AP and TS. Besides, banks also have their own marketing channels that supply the machines to merchants and other businesses that are interested in cashless payments. “We don’t have tie-up with any bank. We directly supply machines to merchants and link them to their current accounts. Thereafter, they can start using the machine,” a representative of another company said. Most of the private companies which are into retail sales also take care of the servicing needs of their clients. Companies like Mumbai-based M Swipe Technologies has about 30,000 swiping machines deployed across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. According to the company’s website, it offers three ranges card-swiping devices in the country. Other companies offer several other ranges.
According to industry insiders, popular swipe machines are priced from Rs 6,500 to Rs 11,000. There are more expensive products as well, costing in excess of Rs 80,000, but they are mostly used in malls and large supermarkets. “Majority of the devices are imported from China and given on rent to the merchants. But there is need to increase awareness among merchants in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as they still don’t know how to operate these machines,” said Shiva from Global Marketing, a marketing agency for swipe devices.