Sunday, 26 June 2011

Visa & MasterCard gone. Rupay card, bring it on

Finally it's here! The much talked about India card which will replace global payment players MasterCard and Visa in India. CNBC-TV18's Gopika Gopakumar finds out more about the Rupay Cards.
It may not be long before the logos of Visa and MasterCard disappear from your plastic cards. Instead these will be replaced by an Indian name Rupay. This is the new card payment scheme launched by the National Payment Corporation of India, a company started three years back by 10 banks, to oversee all retail payment systems in India. Currently, all card payments are routed through Visa or Mastercard which process these transactions outside the country, but this may not be the case in the future.
"There should be something domestic. Payment information is very sensitive. So there has to be repository of payment information with some institution. Why should banks in India pay such high fee to MasterCard or Visa," AP Hota, CEO, National Payments Corporation of India said.
Currently, banks pay around Rs 300 crore every year to Visa and MasterCard for processing all debit and credit card payments. NPCI says Rupay will reduce the cost for both banks and customers.
"We believe that it's possible to reduce the processing fee that banks pay to MasteraCard and Visa by half if not more. Rupay will be aiming at reducing the cost for the bank," Hota added.
Bankers too feel Rupay will be a viable option.
Alok Mishra, CMD, Bank of India , said, “It is indigenous and will be cheaper. Most people here don't travel abroad nor do they need settlement for Visa, MasterCard. What they require is a settlement here. And I think Rupay will work for them.”
Rupay's strategy
To begin with it focuses on tying up with 82 regional rural banks and 100 urban cooperative banks. Having issued 10,000 debit cards, it now plans to scale up by issuing Aadhar-enabled financial inclusion cards.
NPCI says it will be a while before the commercial banks start issuing Rupay debit cards as most of them already have tie-ups with global players. Besides, the regulator favours competition in this segment and so unlike the Chinese, may not make it mandatory.


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