Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Government, NPCI differ over insurance for RuPay cardholders

Differences have emerged between the government and the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), the issuer of RuPay debit card that is given free with every bank account opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, over the insurance cover on the inactive cards.



NPCI is of the view that any cardholder who has not swiped the debit card even once in 45 days should not be entitled to insurance cover, while the government says that any such condition defeats the purpose of the national mission for financial inclusion.

Officials told ET that NPCI has argued that imposition of this condition will prompt the cardholders to be active users of RuPay, which competes with established players like Visa and Mastercard. It has proposed that if the government wants to ex tend the duration of swipe to 90 days or 180 days, it should be willing to pay a part of premium expenses that are currently borne by NPCI.

Currently, private insurer HDFC Ergo provides personal accident cover up to Rs 1 lakh to the RuPay cardholders, only if the card is swiped within 45 days of the incident.

Originally, NPCI had called for a tender with a clause mandating a swipe within 45 days, but later it issued a fresh tender, seeking bids for insurance cover for various durations. It called for bids that would cover personal accident when the swipe is within 45 days, 90 days and 180 days of the incident. The bid ding, which closed last week, invited tenders for the next fiscal and only one of the durations will be accepted in consultation with the government.

We have conveyed to the government that we will pay premiums, only if there is a swipe once in 45 days. However, if the government desires to extend it to 90 days or 180 days, it should pay the difference in the premium between 45 days and 90 days or 180 days, whichever period it chooses," said AP Hota, MD and CEO of NPCI.

As a late entrant in the card business, NPCI feels that the condition to swipe the card within the stipulated time will help establish it as a prominent player, particularly since big banks already have tie-ups with its rivals Visa and Mastercard.

The company has called for bids for all cardholders, which are estimated at 20 crore. The cover will include death and permanent disability due to accident. The claim has to be intimidated within 90 days of incident and settled within 10 days of receiving all documents.

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