It was recently revealed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), a government agency, that RuPay-branded credit cards would be launched in less than 10 months from now. Lalatendu Mishra and S. Varadharajan have this explainer on RuPay:
What is RuPay?
RuPay is India’s own card payment scheme. Like all other card payment schemes, notably Visa and MasterCard, it was created to ensure cashless transactions. The scheme was conceived by NPCI, an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India and an umbrella institution for all retail payment systems in the country.
Why the name RuPay?
RuPay is a play of the words rupee and payment. It was originally called IndiaPay.
So, you can do with RuPay what you can do with other cards?
Yes, you can use them at ATMs, as well as while shopping both online and offline.
How does any card system work?
Imagine you are paying for your grocery purchases at a supermarket using your card. When your card is swiped, the seller’s bank submits the transaction through a card payment network (the likes of Visa or RuPay) to the bank that issued your card in the first place. The card payment network forms the middle layer connecting the card issuing bank and the seller’s merchant bank.
When there are other such systems already, why one more in the form of RuPay?
RBI wants to back a domestic card system with a few goals. One, provide affordable electronic transactions for local banks. Two, promote financial inclusion. The idea of a domestic card is to break the dominance of international majors such as Visa and MasterCard.
The website of NPCI also lists as a benefit the fact that transaction and customer data of RuPay users will stay in India.
Where are RuPay cards accepted?
They are accepted at more than one million points of sale terminals. Over 20,000 online merchants accept RuPay cards. Internationally, RuPay cards can be used at all Discover & Diner PoS and ATM networks.
How affordable are RuPay cards for banks?
Banks pay higher transaction fee in case of foreign cards such as Visa and MasterCard. Since the transaction processing of RuPay happens domestically, it leads to lower cost for clearing and settlement of transactions. According to NPCI officials, the cost is around one-third of the fee charged by foreign card brands.
How much does NPCI charge for use of RuPay?
For use at ATMs, banks are charged 45 paise per transaction and 90 paise per transaction at point-of-sale in merchant establishments or e-commerce platforms, irrespective of the transaction value. Other card systems charge more in case of high value transactions.
What is RuPay’s market share in India?
According to information in the Finance Ministry’s website, around 14 crore RuPay cards have been issued till date. Out of the 50 crore debit cards and two crore credit cards in circulation, this works out to about 27 per cent. And, this number has been achieved in less than three years. Out of the 14 crore cards issued, 55 per cent are active, according to Finance Ministry data. The recent Jan Dhan Yojna has given RuPay a big boost as every account-holder is getting the RuPay card. The direct benefits transfer scheme has also helped in making the RuPay cards active.