Visa and MasterCard Killer–Rupay

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TOI reports that India will soon have it’s own payment processing firm called Rupay competing with Visa and Mastercard payment processing firms.

After almost two years of planning, the National Payments Corporation has at last finalised the proposed unique India Card which once commercially launched would be an domestic alternative to the global real-time payment processing firms like Visa andMasterCard.

"We have finalised name of the proposed card as Rupay at our board meeting here today. We have also finalised the logo for the same," a senior official of the RBI-set up National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), told PTI this evening. The official sought not to be named.

NPCI is an umbrella institution for all the retail payment systems in India. I could not find any information about Rupay on the NPCI website, but given the statistics of the transactions that it handles is pretty impressive. It also gives a list of Payment systems worldwide, which is interesting to know.

The advantages of Rupay should be really good especially in lowering the transaction charges for using debit/credit card at merchant sites. As of now, all the banks which issue credit or debit cards to the end-user for transactions at various merchants in India or abroad has to tie up with Visa or Mastercard. The transaction is routed through the infrastructure owned by Visa/Mastercard not situated within the country. This implies substantial cost to the banks as well as merchants which are passed on to the end customer. Rupay will eliminate majority of this cost.

The interchange cost for transaction settlement paid by Indian banks to Visa/Mastercard is close to Rs 500 crore in one year and most of these transactions are purely domestic transactions. Rupay would reduce this cost substantially and can still connect to the Visa/Mastercard for international transactions.

The plan is great, but it needs solid execution, since any Rupay based system has to develop the necessary infrastructure to handle the millions of transactions that happen in India. Also security is a big concern and Rupay need to scale up quickly to the level of Visa/Mastercard to ensure transactions in secure manner with less chances of fraud. In case of Visa/Mastercard they push the security solutions based on their standard up-gradation worldwide. So Rupay system need to match that as be as agile in upgrading to latest security infrastructure as happens globally. It is also a challenge to incentivise the already existing merchants to sign up for the Rupay system. Ofcourse cost advantage will help but security will be the key. NCPI has loads of work to do on that front.

The NCPI is also working on utilizing the Aadhaar developed by UIDAI (headed by Nandan Nilekani) and will be developing a proof of concepts through a MicroATM. This is interesting since it brings the lowest strata of society into high-technology banking transactions.

1 comment:

  1. Nice informative article. Actually India needs this. I did not cross across any new related to this before.....

    First time visitor to your blog and this is the first article I read. I would like to read other as well.