Cashless Drive will Push India’s Retail Sector to New High

Chennai, India, 2017-Mar-22 — /EPR Retail News/ —  The Government’s ambition to make India a cashless economy was further vindicated by its recent Budget proposals for 2017-18 which have series of measures aiming at pushing cashless transactions even by small retailers across India.

The government has made its intention clear when it first introduced Aadhaar (smart) ID cards as mandatory document to open bank accounts, and later linked all existing account holders and LPG subsidy beneficiaries to prevent malpractices.

But there was still a lot of (unaccounted) cash on circulation and more than 90 per cent of transactions were happening through cash in India with corruption reining high at all levels. The demonetization of higher order currencies announced last November was the last nail in the coffin to rid wide-spread corruption, black money and fake currencies, the three major elements which were weakening the very basic pillars of our economy.

The demonetization has indeed created acute cash crunch forcing people to use plastic money and digital transactions. It was definitely a calculative move by the government to make cash scarce and restricting daily withdrawal limits in banks, so that it can effectively push cashless dealings by individuals and traders.

However, it is grossly inadequate to cater over one billion populace with a meager 1.5 million card swiping POS machines presently offered by banks to retailers.

The retail sector, which is experiencing fast-track growth offering over 10 per cent share to the country’s GDP, presently needs at least five million POS machines to meet the existing demand from retail traders. Looking at the future demand for such devices, we need to scale up this figure to 10 million by 2020.

Though banks were instructed to provide three million POS machines by March 2017, the difficulty to procure make-in-India Mobile POS machines has forced many to look for such devices from countries like China, Taiwan, Japan and European nations. Sensing the delay in getting machines in time, the government has recently relaxed the rules for BIS certification for imported POS machines, which will further reduce the cost and speed up the process of equipping traders with mobile POS devices to do cashless transactions.

The unprecedented demand for mobile POS machines in India has made several local businesses vying to consolidate their position by introducing alternate payment solutions such as mobile wallet or digital wallet using smart phones to Indian retailers. The demand for POS machines has also opened a plethora of opportunities for growth for companies manufacturing and marketing POS machines such as magnetic card readers, POS terminals to do retail billing and other allied devices such as receipt printers, barcode scanners, barcode printers, cash registers, etc.

As Point of Sale remains the lifeline for Indian retail sector, the large scale    usage of POS technology which involves software-driven POS system to carry out host of business operations including desktop billing, mobile billing, cashless transaction using credit or debit cards, inventory management, staff management, customer relation management, multi-store sales tracking, and hosts of other back-end operations crucial for business growth.

Today we have a number of grocery retail stores coming up across the country which offer customers a unique shopping experience with modern POS machines and latest mobile technology, which also help automate their business for better performance and growth. POS has changed the way people shop for their daily needs compared to few years ago.

Retail businesses using mobile card payment option has indeed helped many augment their business. With government announcing a lot of sops for POS sector in its Budget for 2017-18 fiscal, the intention is clear to make the country a cashless economy treading through ‘Point of Sale’. The move will further trigger the already fast-paced retail sector to worth a whopping USD one trillion by 2020 from the present 600 million.

As majority of POS payment devices need to be imported (to meet the target of three million POS machines by March 2017), the government has eased the import norms to make it available freely in the Indian market. The Union budget has proposed tax exemptions in basic customs duty, special additional duty and excise duty for manufacturers of PoS card readers, fingerprint readers, mobile PoS (mPoS) and iris scanners.

The tax exemptions will encourage domestic manufacturers to produce card swipe machines and biometric devices in reduced cost which will strengthen better penetration for digital and Aadhaar-enabled payment systems.

Bhaskar Venkatraman speaks on Union Budget for 2017-18 and its impact on Indian retail sector and POS technology products.

Millennium India is looking at it as a great opportunity to reach out to millions of retailers with latest POS technology products which include mobile card swipe machines, mPOS devices, POS terminals and other allied devices which will help strengthen digital payment environment in the country. As demand is going to be unprecedented in the coming years, apart from managing through offline marketing, we are also pushing POS devices through our e-commerce arm justransact.com, an exclusive online marketplace for POS technology products,” says Bhaskar Venkatraman, CEO and Director of Millennium Soft-Tech (India) Pvt Ltd and JusTransact.com.

The budgetary proposal to impose banking cash transaction tax on withdrawals above Rs 50,000 will further push customers towards digital transactions. This, along with abolishing of merchant discount rates charges on usage of credit/debit card and giving 50 per cent subsidy on biometric devices will bring more small traders towards cashless transaction. This will also encourage them to use POS machines as they no longer lose revenue in each card transaction.

So, there will be huge demand for POS products in India in the coming years from retailers and POS sector is gearing up to meet the demand and become major stake holder for retail sector’s growth metrics.

After ‘digital India’ initiative, the government’s latest push to make the country a cashless economy  through demonetization and digital payments will create windfall for POS manufacturers and dealers in India as the demand for such devices are going to witness astronomical rise in the coming months.

 

For Media Contact: 

K Ramanathan

ram@justransact.com,  ram.justransact@gmail.com

Millennium Retech Ventures India Pvt Ltd,

G-19,2nd  Floor,Block-16, 2nd Main Road,
Ambattur Industrial Estate, Chennai-600 058.

91+ 9384612789

New METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars to drive digital solutions for the retail sector

  • New METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars: METRO and Real jointly focus on digital services for the retail sector
  • In search of innovations and technologies for independent traders and retailers
  • Three-month program for ten international start-up teams complements existing Accelerator program for the digitisation of the hospitality sector
  • Applications welcome now at www.metroaccelerator.com

Düsseldorf, 2016-Nov-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — In a tried and tested cooperation with Techstars, the METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is launching a new start-up program under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator to drive digital solutions for the retail sector. This will be the first time that METRO and Real, together, assume the role of expert coaches for the start-ups. The “METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars” complements the Accelerator program for digital solutions in the hotel, restaurant and catering industry which has been running successfully for the past two years. The new program will kick off on 12 June 2017 in Berlin.

The second Accelerator of METRO GROUP W&FS Co. addresses start-ups offering innovative digital applications for independent traders, a key customer group of METRO Cash & Carry and of large hypermarkets which are the business model of Real who participates as a new partner in METRO’s Accelerator program. Over a period of three months, experienced mentors and experts will support ten selected international start-ups in Berlin to further refine their business model and establish themselves in the market. The METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars is the first accelerator that systematically promotes digital applications for independent traders (B2B2C) and also for Real as one of the leading hypermarket chains (B2C).

We are looking for start-up teams who develop technology-based services and products to accelerate business processes in the retail sector or to intensify customer relationships and bring them into the digital age. Digital applications are to make METRO’s customers even more successful in the future and Real as an important German hypermarket chain is to benefit from further innovative impulses. The range of digital solution users extends from kiosks, local grocery stores, service stations or delivery services all the way to franchise retail chains and hypermarkets.

As from now and throughout 12 March 2017, interested start-ups from the world over can submit their application for the start-up program on the English language website www.metroaccelerator.com. The teams must complete a questionnaire and can optionally also upload a video. The complete application process is in English. In telephone interviews and face-to-face meetings, an experienced jury of investors and mentors will select the ten most promising start-ups.

“The core of our strategy is to help our customers to become even more successful in their businesses. Here, digital solutions play an increasingly important role. After successfully establishing the METRO Accelerator for the hospitality sector together with Techstars the time has come to take the next step. We are convinced that independent traders can strongly benefit from digital solutions – with regard to customer communication, new services and also in terms of their business operations. That is why we are now launching the METRO Accelerator for Retail. Together with Techstars, we want to help innovative companies to develop successfully. In this process, the start-ups will receive extensive support, like for example access to more than 100 mentors”, says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.

The METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars, just like the Accelerator for the hospitality sector, comprises a three-month program in Berlin. Ten selected start-ups from all over the world will be intensively supported by mentors in the process of further developing their innovations. To this effect, METRO Cash & Carry which operates in 25 countries with 21 million customers worldwide and Real will contribute the extensive expertise of its specialists from the fields of Procurement, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Finance, Legal and Communications. “With the Accelerator program, we can systematically expand our innovation leadership in German food retail developed over many years. With around 300 locations in Germany, an average sales floor of around 8,000 square meters, an assortment of up to 80,000 articles and up to one million customers per day, Real like no other company offers the ideal platform for start-up teams to test their technical innovations in the German retail sector”, says Real’s CEO Patrick MüllerSarmiento.

Techstars contributes its internationally proven process for the Accelerator program and a network of more than 3,000 mentors, investors and experienced members of the start-up community.

While the Hospitality Accelerator is regularly hosted in autumn in Berlin, the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars will kick-off on 12 June 2017 in Berlin. After three months of work with more than 100 international mentors, the start-ups will present their company to investors, leading industry representatives and the public on the so-called Demo Day in September 2017. The program offers the following to the participants:

 Ten selected teams will each receive an offer €120,000 worth of investment
 Access to the top management and expert networks of METRO, Real and Techstars
 Mentorship by METRO, Real and Techstars as well as by other leading industry representatives, investors and entrepreneurs
 Use of free co-working spaces in the heart of Berlin for the duration of the program
 Membership in the international Techstars and METRO Accelerator alumni network

“With the second accelerator program we can promote start-ups even more specifically and thereby build on the success of our first program. The Retail Accelerator is strategically important for us and highly relevant for our customers. We are looking for the world’s best B2B and B2C innovations for the retail sector: from augmented reality applications for the shopping experience of the future to digital solutions for retail or hypermarket logistics all the way to tech-based systems for the operation of franchise chains”, explains Alexander Zumdieck, Managing Director METRO of the METRO Accelerator for Retail.

Alexander Hafner, Managing Director Techstars of the METRO Accelerator for Retail, adds: “With METRO and Real, the start-ups have the opportunity to interact with leading and well-networked retail partners over a three-month period. The retail sector is one of the markets with the strongest digital growth rates and therefore the exchange between start-ups and industry experts in the framework of the Accelerator represents the key for developing important competitive advantages. That way, innovative business models are created that benefit METRO’s specialist trade partners and the end users.”

Companies and start-up teams from all over the world who are interested in participating in the METRO Accelerator for Retail powered by Techstars can now submit their application online until 12 March 2017. The Retail Accelerator will be organised alternately with the Hospitality Accelerator which has been running successfully for two years already.

More information available at: www.metroaccelerator.com

Under the umbrella of the METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars, METRO and Techstars, in two programs, help international start-up teams in the development of digital solutions. One of the programs focuses on solutions for the hotel, restaurant and catering sector while the second program is aimed at the retail industry. In the framework of the three-month programs organised in Berlin, experienced mentors and experts will in each case help ten selected startups to successfully develop their own business further with regard to customers and investors. The METRO Accelerator powered by Techstars was launched in 2015 with a regularly hosted hospitality program that is the unique in the world. More information available at www.metroaccelerator.com

The METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company (W&FS Co.) is an internationally leading specialist in wholesale and food retail. With its sales lines METRO Cash & Carry and Real as well as its other associated companies, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. operates in 35 countries and employs more than 112,000 people around the world. In 2014/15, METRO GROUP W&FS Co. achieved sales of around €37 billion. The company provides custom solutions to meet the regional and international needs of its wholesale and retail customers. More information available at www.metrogroup.de

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of start-up programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of community leaders, founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners, allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey – from the idea to venture capital investments to M&A and IPO. For more information visit www.techstars.com.

Contact:

METRO GROUP Wholesale & Food Specialist Company
Corporate Communications and Public Policy
Telephone +49 (0) 211 68 86-42 52
presse@metro.de

Source: METRO GROUP