Fintech seems to be the next segment that Mukesh Ambani's Reliance is aiming to disrupt. Payments bank was just the start. After acquiring over 200 million subscriber base, Reliance Jio is now eyeing the merchant community by entering the point-of-sale (PoS) segment. If an industry source is to be believed then the company has already launched its PoS services is six cities — Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata — on a pilot basis. Merchants and retail provision stores will have to 'deposit' Rs 3,000 to get Reliance's PoS device; and for all debit and credit card transactions up to Rs 2,000 in value, the merchant discount rate (MDR) would be zero. MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank every time a debit/credit card is swiped for payments in their stores.
Currently, the PoS accepts Reliance's own wallet Jio Money and National Payments Corporation of India's BHIM and will add other wallets soon. The device comes with QR Code scanner feature. Merchants will also be able to access loan against card receivables. For its PoS devices, Jio is partnering with Hindustan Unilever Limited for acquiring merchants. According to the person quoted above, “HUL distribution persons will be incentivized for every merchant lead.” Going through largest FMCG brand’s distribution network also indicates the ambitious reach Reliance is eyeing for its PoS devices. Reliance’s PoS bet is in line with its big e-commerce foray, where the company plans to adopt online-to-offline approach — a model that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has pioneered and been replicated by Paytm in India. At the company's 41st Annual General Meeting, Ambani said, “We shall create this [online-to-offline new commercial platform] by integrating and synergising the power of Reliance Retail's physical marketplace with the fabulous strengths of Jio's digital infrastructure and services."