Sunday, March 31, 2013

Come April, you can use RuPay even online

The desi version of card payment platform – RuPay – is moving to the next level. Come April, the cardholders can make transactions even online too, marking the next step for an offering rolled out by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) almost two years ago.

In the beginning, RuPay was ATM-only, but NPCI later started issuing debit cards for off-line retail purchases. The current move, which allows RuPay cards to be used for e-commerce payments, is bound to intensify competition for global rivals like Visa and MasterCard. For, RuPay cards come significantly cheaper.

These online-enabled cards may turn attractive for mainstream banks, unlike ATM-only and debit ones, which are targeted more towards co-operative and regional rural banks, and rural and semi-urban bank branches, respectively, because of less internet-savvy clientele there.
“Mainstream banks will not issue RuPay cards to their customers till the e-commerce option is enabled. From April, they will start issuing,” said A P Hota, managing director and CEO, NPCI. To begin with, two banks will issue new RuPay cards from the second half of April, and others are likely to follow suit, Hota added.

However, a lot of work needs to be done on RuPay debit cards as a big chunk of point-of-sale (POS) terminals does not still accept them. Currently, only 25% of POS terminals across India accept these debit cards, said Hota. NPCI hopes to wrap up the roll-out by July this year.

“Banks have to put field staff on the job to visit each POS terminal and install RuPay software there. These terminals have Visa, MasterCard and American Express software in them already,” said Hota. There are almost 8 lakh POS terminals in India as of January 2013, according to data from the Reserve Bank of India.
For now, NPCI is not in a hurry to offer RuPay credit cards anytime soon. Even as March 2015 has been set as the cut-off line for the credit card business launch, Hota remains sceptical whether that could be met. This is simply because it’s the debit card project that is hogging all the attention now.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baroda Gujarat Grameen Bank introduces RuPay ATM card

Baroda Gujarat Grameen Bank, a regional rural bank sponsored by Bank of Baroda has introduced RuPay ATM Card.

With the initiative of launching the RuPay ATM card, around 8 lakh customers of Baroda Gujarat Grameen Bank (BGGB) will have access to over 1 lakh ATMs across the country to withdraw cash and carry out other transactions, said Bank of Baroda in a statement quoting its Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. S.S. Mundra.

The Government has 50 per cent stake in BGGB. The balance stake is held by Bank of Baroda (35 per cent) and Gujarat Government (15 per cent).

BGGB had 148 branches spread across 12 districts in Gujarat. The regional rural bank had deposits and loans amounting Rs 1,722 crore and Rs 653 crore, as of March-end 2012.

RuPay cards to reach out to more farmers by June 30


PUNE: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) wants the RuPay-enabled debit cards to reach out to a larger rural population and has asked all district central cooperative banks to implement core banking system by June 30.

The government, through the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI), had introduced the domestic card scheme, RuPay, to rival Visa and Mastercard. The NCPI then went on to work with major banks to get them on board to launch the RuPay Kisan Card and the first to launch it was the Bank of Maharashtra, which has issued it to farmers who have accounts with the bank. "We have issued more than 30,000 RuPay-enabled cards. The cards will ensure judicious use of cash limits by farmers. Once the loan is credited to the account of farmers, they can purchase things using the card as per the requirement," said Balasaheb Tavhare, assistant general manager, information technology and management information systems, Bank of Maharashtra.

Now, to accelerate the process, Nabard has provided financial assistance to 11 district central cooperative (DCC) banks for implementing core banking system, in addition to funding regional rural banks that have farmers as account holders in large numbers. Other DCC banks, such as those in Raigad, Mumbai, Pune, Akola and Sangli, have either completed or are in the final stage of implementing CBS and have borne the cost of implementation from their own resources. Nabard is also making point of sale (POS) machines available at all the district and tehsil level, said an official. Nabard will also fund these banks for issuing RuPay cards and point of sale machines.

The card can be used in urban areas as well. The core banking system enables a customer to access his/her bank account from any branch. The facility is further extended to automated teller machines, estimated to be over 1 lakh across the country, which the account holder can use to withdraw money. The RuPay-enabled card will act as a debit cardfor farmers for withdrawal of cash, said a senior Nabard officer.

As per the 2011 census, there are 1.30 crore rural households in the state of which 34 lakh have Kisan credit cards (KCC). Kisan card is the Union government's initiative for connecting farmers to banks and channelize funds and assistance to their accounts. The RuPay card is being issued first to farmers who hold the Kisan credit cards. All the rural households in the state would also get RuPay cards eventually.

P M Ghole, general manager at the regional office of Nabard, said, "Nabard will bear the entire cost of making the cards to be distributed to farmers and subsequent transactions for the first three years. We have also asked the DCC banks to appoint correspondents with point of sale machines and conduct training programmes for rural people who will be using such cards for the first time."

RuPay is India's own domestic card payment network to rival Visa and Mastercard and was launched in March, 2012. To promote RuPay, the Reserve Bank of India has permitted private players to set up ATM machines connected to the RuPay platform in urban and rural areas. Once all the credit and debit cards issued by rural, public sector and private commercial banks get linked on the RuPay platform, a card holder will be able to withdraw cash from any ATM machine in the country.

30,000 farmers issued RuPay Kisan Card by Bank of Maharashtra

All district central cooperative banks asked by NABARD to implement core banking system by June 30 to widen RuPay penetration in rural parts

NABARD is also funding 11 such banks for speedier implementation of core banking system
Total Number of Card holders in the country: 3,330 lakh