Petrol pumps get into digital overdrive, play up wallets
New Delhi, Dec 3: Making a push to promote digital payment post demonetisation, petrol pumps across the country have installed infrastructure to accept not just credit and debit cards but e-wallets and mobile wallets as an alternative to cash.
Also, over 4,800 petrol pumps across the country are dispensing Rs 2,000 per card a day through POS machine swipes and have dispensed Rs 65 crore in the past two weeks.
"Beginning today, we are launching a month-long awareness drive at 53,077 petrol pumps in the first phase to promote use of digital payment services," Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said while launching the drive. Petrol pumps will host kioks to help not just people buy fuel, but others on how to use e-payment solutions.
In the second phase, this will be extended to 18,000 LPG distributing gas agencies and also CNG pumps. Pradhan said using digital payment is not just safe but very convenient mode that helps check tax evasion and generation of black money, the pet theme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"We have covered two-thirds of the outlets in all capitals and major towns with digital payment solutions," he said. "Attempt is to reach as many points as possible quickly." As many as 29,905 petrol pumps across the country have POS machines that allows card swipe to make payment of fuel as also dispenses cash.
Besides, 4,700 outlets now accept e-wallets and mobile wallets, he said, adding 1,000 to 1,200 outlets are being added to the service every second day.
"Petrol pumps transact Rs 2,000 crore a day of fuel and even if a small percentage of this can go in digital mode, it will be a huge thing," he said. The awareness drive will help increase the penetration, he hoped.
Even before demonetisation, there was forecast of Indian digital payments shooting up. The market could be worth USD 500 billion by 2020, or 10 times current estimates, Google and Boston Consulting Group had said in July.
"Out of the 385 petrol pumps in Delhi, POS machines where ATM/Debit card/credit card or loyalty cards can be swiped are installed at 381 and all e-wallets like PayTM and MobiKwik and mobile wallets are accepted as mode of payment at 222 outlets.
The remaining will be added in next few days," he said. In the national capital region, 539 out of 570 petrol pumps have POS machines and 303 are e-wallet compliant. The scrapping of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes has sent millions scurrying for digital cash.