JCB International, a Japanese cards issuer, has entered into a strategic partnership with National Payments Corporation of India under which its card-holders will be able to transact at all NPCI locations. At present, JCB cards are accepted in India through a tie-up with American Express.
Following the pact, the Japanese company will call off the tie-up with the American issuer here. Under the tie-up, RuPay-JCB international debit cards will also be issued by NPCI member-banks that would be globally accepted through the JCB network. "We target to launch JCB cards acceptance business in the country around mid-2016 and RuPay-JCB international cards later in the same year," NPCI managing director and CEO A P Hota told reporters here. NPCI currently has 10 lakh card merchants and 2 lakh ATMs across the country. "We are pleased to enter into a partnership with NPCI, as India is the most important market in our Asia strategy. Issuing of RuPAy-JCB cards here will have a significant impact on our global business going by the large population here," JCB deputy president Kimihisa Imada said. NPCI will share a part of inter-change fee for every transaction done by JCB cardholders in the country. Initially, NPCI will issue international RuPay debit cards with the JCB branding which would be widely accepted throughout Asia where JCB has a strong presence in terms of merchant network. The co-branded card will work as RuPay cards in the country and work as JCB cards outside. Imada said JCB plans to issue around one crore co-branded cards over the next 10 years. Both the entities may also look at issuing co-branded credit and pre-paid forex cards later.