What is RuPay – India’s Card Payment Network?


A product of the National Payments Corporation of India, RuPay is India’s native payment network. The name, derived from the words “rupee” and “payment”, indicates that it is India’s own initiative for card payments. It is the country’s answer to international payment networks.

Initiated by the Reserve Bank of India, the financial services and payment system was launched in 2012 and then dedicated to the country in 2014. One of the intentions behind RuPay is to facilitate India’s entry into the global market. payments through a native card facility.

So why was RuPay launched?
RuPay is intended to realize RBI’s vision of creating a “less liquid” economy. An effective way to achieve this was to ensure that every Indian bank and financial institution was technologically savvy and offered electronic payment services.

Building a less monetary economy requires financial inclusion. To this end, RuPay has helped reach rural India and promote digital payments with the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana program.

In November 2021, Indian banks reportedly issued 31.67 crore RuPay debit cards with free accident insurance cover to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders.

In the absence of a national payment network, banks have had to pay high affiliate fees to multinationals like Visa and Mastercard for trusted associations. As a result, NPCI was established as a not-for-profit payment company that would create an accessible and affordable payment network for Indians.

And what products are offered?
RuPay offers both debit and credit cards for individuals and businesses. It also has a prepaid card and a “Kisan credit card”. It also offers a “contactless” card that facilitates one-click transactions, thus making payments without revealing crucial card details.

But, as a customer, you might have two crucial questions in mind.

First, where are RuPay cards accepted?

According to a financial daily, as of August 2021, they were accepted at all ATMs and cash machines, as well as for domestic online and offline purchases, across India. However, internationally they are not accepted except at ATMs, cash machines and e-commerce sites where ‘Diner’ and ‘Discover Financial Service’ are enabled. At the time of the report’s publication, cards under RuPay Global were accepted at over 1.90 million ATMs and over 42.4 million outlets in 185 countries.

Second, what are the advantages of a RuPay card?
Banks that issue RuPay cards have an advantage because they do not have to pay network registration fees, unlike the case of a MasterCard or Visa registration. Indeed, RuPay is a national framework. Thanks to a zero merchant discount rate, banks charge nothing on UPI and RuPay card transactions.

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