Showing posts with label citi card. Show all posts
Showing posts with label citi card. Show all posts

Monday, July 7, 2014

Government asks PSU banks to issue RuPay debit cards to customers, install POS terminals

For the first time in their 30-year existence, Visa and MasterCard, the world's largest payment companies, are facing the heat in India. Lending its weight behind the local card scheme, RuPay, the government has asked state-owned banks to issue RuPay debit cards to customers.

In a communique to banks last week, Gurdial Singh Sandhu, secretary at the finance ministry's department of financial services, "urged" CEOs of public sector banks to issue RuPay cards to all existing customers who do not have debit cards as well as to new clients. Banks have also been told to "encourage" merchant establishments to install point of sale terminals for RuPay cards, two banking sources told ET.

While banks have not been instructed to refrain from issuing cards where transactions are processed by Visa or MasterCard, there is a clear direction to promote RuPay. Customers are typically issued a single debit card per account and banks will have to pursue the unconventional practice and possibly tweak systems to issue two debit cards to a client who insists on a Visa or MasterCard that currently have greater acceptance than RuPay.

RuPay was launched by National Payments Corp of India (NPCI), set up to function as a cost-effective payment services entity. Responding to ET's query on whether PSU banks could lose rich and more brand-conscious customers to private banks (which have not received a similar direction from the finance ministry), AP Hota, MD & CEO of NPCI, said, "Such fears are unfounded. RuPay is a fully functional card payment system. We are also launching Platinum cards for HNI customers."

 "I'm not aware of the ministry's communication to banks. But as I understand, the government's focus is to promote financial inclusion," said Hota of NPCI.

For banks, it's a mandate they will have to fulfil. Within the next six months they will have to offer the new debit card to existing customers, inform thousands of branches and submit progress report to the ministry every quarter.

It's not unusual for countries and governments to support local retail payment networks that offer the software backbone and process card transactions. Countries such as Singapore and Brazil have their local payment companies while China disallows foreign payment firms to process domestic card transactions. But industry sources said an absence of a level playing field may worry global players such as Visa and MasterCard.

For MNC payment firms, the stakes are high. Every year around Rs 80,000 crore worth of debit card spends happen in India, of which 5% are cross-border transactions. It's a market that's growing at close to 35% annually. Credit card transactions, growing at over 25%, are more than two times debit card spends.

Asked whether RuPay would be accepted for transactions such as buying books and music on international e-commerce sites, Hota said NPCI was tying up with the US firm Discover Financial Services to promote co-branded cards to facilitate international transactions.

The fledging card scheme is trying to spread its footprint. So far,A 20 million cards have been issued. "It has full acceptance in ATMs, and of the 10.35 lakh POS (point of sale) terminals in the country, RuPay can be accepted in 9.87 lakh terminals. About 95% of debit card transactions are domestic in nature," said SK Gupta, chief project officer, RuPay. But not all merchant establishments are familiar with RuPay and few display RuPay stickers (along with Visa and MasterCard) on their counters. Till now, POS transactions worth Rs 40 crore have happened through RuPay.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NPCI to launch RuPay global cards by July

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) today said its RuPay debit card will go international by July and announced a tie-up with an American card issuer.

Announcing the tie-up with Discover here, NPCI Chief Executive A P Hota said both RuPay and the American firm stand to gain from this partnership due to extended distribution network of their respective cardholders.

"The RuPay Card is also leveraging upon EMV technology of Discover to issue global cards. Cards, terminal and host specifications for the RuPay global cards have since been released to the pilot-member banks. Issuance of RuPay global cards will commence in July with two banks," Hota said.

NPCI and Discover Financial Services also announced operationalisation of acceptance of Discover and Diners' Club cards in India on NPCI's NFS (National Financial Switch) network.

As part of a strategic alliance, announced last year, Discover and Diners Club cards now are accepted at over 85,000 NFS ATMs across the country, Hota said.

In the coming months, RuPay global cards will be issued and accepted on the Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash access outside India. This will be followed by the acceptance of Discover and Diners Club cards access at point-of-sale terminals for purchases in the country.

Monday, January 7, 2013

At IIT-Bombay, tech takes the cash out of shopping

The technology being used is near field communication, where devices establish radio communication with each other by touch or bringing them into close proximity.
Imagine a world where you don’t have to worry about running short of cash every time you pick up your breakfast cereal from the neighbourhood grocery or fret about change while getting a cup of coffee!
A cashless world is no longer a theory at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B). Thanks to a novel initiative, shopping here is all about a tap on their mobile phones.
The “virtual wallet” is a pilot project launched by ItzCash, Rupay and Canara Bank. “A person just has to use a ‘tag’ on any personal belonging like a mobile phone or an ID card and make payments at shops in the campus through it,” said Vaibhav S. Joshi, Head, Government Business, ItzCash.
About 2,000 students are using this cashless card initiative since its launch in September last year. “This is the first time that we have introduced the system in an educational institution. We aim to extend it to 4,000 students in the next few months,” Joshi added.
ItzCash plans to expand the cashless card system to other IITs and corporate campuses soon.
There are three active reloading spots and 35 stores enabled with this technology at the IIT-B campus. Through this system, students can, among other things, make day-to-day purchases, such as books and stationeries, and settle canteen bills.

The tech in use

The technology used is near field communication (NFC), where devices establish radio communication with each other by touch or bringing them into close proximity.
Countries such as Germany, Austria, Finland, New Zealand and Italy have tested NFC in ticketing systems for public transport, while China has implemented it in bus services across the country. Still at a nascent stage in India, NFC technology is now being explored as a new medium of transaction, which may gradually eliminate the usage of smaller currencies.
It costs the Government nearly a rupee to print a currency note of Rs 10 denomination and Rs 1.79 to make a Rs 100 note, according to information provided by the Reserve Bank of India.


The pilot project at IIT-B campus has had some teething issues in setting up a smooth transaction process. “Enabling device and application readiness and handholding merchants to move to this new automated system were some of the initial challenges that we faced,” Joshi said.