NPCI and RBI launch RuPay debit card payment platform as rival to Visa and MasterCard in India

Competing with Visa and MasterCard

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), in collaboration with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is rolling out the RuPay debit card platform to compete with Visa and MasterCard. The new debit cards will initially be accepted at around 91,000 ATMs and 6 lakh POS terminals across the country. Eventually they will become compatible with online transactions and foreign ATMs and POS terminals.

The principal difference between RuPay and other card networks is that it charges banks no joining fee. Other card payment systems charge banks around $50,000. The NPCI claims its charges per transaction will also be around half that of global payment companies.

Banks currently launching debit cards on the RuPay platform include State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Union Bank of India. 200,000 branded cards have been issued thus far and the NPCI wants to roll out 10 million by March 2013. RuPay credit cards are also due to be introduced by March 2015.

The aim of the launch is to drive debit card usage in India, especially in rural areas.

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