Oil firms set deadlines for LPG distributors to use PoS machines

10,000 devices ordered for use by refill cylinder delivery boys

Oil firms set deadlines for LPG distributors to use PoS machines
The oil-marketing companies have set January 15 and 31 as deadlines for their LPG distributors in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, respectively, to equip delivery boys with point-of-sale (PoS) machines. With the Centre announcing Rs 5 discount per cylinder (LPG domestic) for payments made online or by using cards, the oil companies – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC) – have stepped up efforts to ensure e-payments. However, e-payment for the refill supply is optional and consumers can pay in cash also.

While those paying for the refill online will get Rs 5 discount immediately, those making payments using PoS machines will have to pay the full amount at the time of delivery. The discount amount will be credited to the consumers’ bank accounts within seven days, IOC assistant general manager (LPG) Abhijit Dey said. 

The IOC has directed its Indane Gas distributors in Bengaluru to ensure all delivery boys carry PoS machines by January 7. The distributors of Bharat Gas of BPC and HP Gas of HPC in Bengaluru have been asked to provide the PoS payment facility to consumers by January 15.

Only 20 of the total 120 LPG distributors in Bengaluru have so far achieved complete switchover to e-payment system. Though oil companies are sending SMSes urging consumers to pay using cards (to those who have booked refill cylinder on the Interactive Voice Record System-IVRS), the distributors have not equipped the delivery boys with the machines. A majority of consumers in Karnataka book refills through IVRS.

10,000 machines
Dey said orders have been placed with various banks to supply about 10,000 PoS machines for the use of LPG distributors in Karnataka. The banks will rent out the machines to the distributors. An estimated 2,500 machines are required in Bengaluru alone. Now, consumers have been provided with the facility to make payments online even after booking the refill through IVRS, Dey said.

Karnataka is number two in online booking of LPG refills in the country as far as Indane Gas consumers are concerned. Tamil Nadu occupies the number one slot. As many as 6,322 consumers booked refills online in December in Karnataka. In Tamil Nadu, the number was 7,732.
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