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NPCI to launch credit card by year-end

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The National Payments Corporation of (NPCI), which controls 35 per cent of the debit card market in terms of volumes, expects to launch its much-delayed credit before the year-end, a top official of the Reserve Bank-promoted institute has said.

"We have been ready with our credit card project for quite some time now, but could not launch it formally so far as we are waiting for the completion of moving onto the new switch from Euronet from FIS switch, which should be completed by end August now," NPCI chief executive and managing director A P Hota told PTI.

He further said that had they launched the credit card earlier on the Euronet switching system, it would have been an inconvenience for customers as the corporation would anyways have had to align with the new FIS switch.

"First they said it would have been ready by last December, which was pushed to June this year and now they are saying August-September. If they complete the process, then we can launch our maiden credit card by November-December," Hota said, adding that already six-seven banks are ready to launch their credit card.

The corporation had launched debit card - Rupay - in April 2012 and since then has cornered 35 per cent of the market share in the 670 million strong debt card market as of April this year.

While the debit card issuance grew by 19.6 per cent in 2015-16, adding 108.4 million new cards to 661.8 million, credit cards grew by 16.1 per cent or 3.4 million to 24.5 million at the end of the past fiscal, taking the total number of cards to 685.3 million, up 19.4 per cent in the year, Hota said quoting the RBI data for the year.

He said as many as 600 banks now issue RuPay cards out of which 55 are old generation commercial banks and two are foreign banks - Bank of Doha and Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait.

British lender HSBC is the only commercial bank that does not issue RuPay cards, he noted, adding that even this bank does not even allow RuPay cards on its payment terminals.

Hota said all the 56 regional rural banks, 23 out of 30

urban cooperative banks, 44 out of the 51 scheduled cooperative banks and 475 of the 500-odd non-scheduled cooperative banks are on the RuPay platform.

He said RuPay cards are also accepted by the Discover, Diners' Club and Pulse cards, which are premium standalone card issuers.

In terms of card transaction, he said the RuPay cards enjoy 25 per cent of the 15,369 million volume market out of which ATM transactions are 7,291.6 million as of March, a growth of 46 per cent of the previous year, Hota said, adding that the RuPay cards have a 10 per cent share in the 1.3 million units PoS (point of sale) market.

Under the Prime Minister's financial inclusion drive (PMJDY), the corporation has issued 210 million cards out of which 180 million are active cards.

On the fee side for cash transaction (ATM withdrawal), Hota said the "NPCI charges only 45 paise per transaction from issuers, while Visa and MasterCard charge a whopping Rs 1-3 per transaction on an average, but from some large issuers it charges as less as 35 paise. But we have just one flat fee structure.

"On the online transaction side, including through PoS terminals too, we have a flat fee structure-60 paise from the issuing bank and 30 paise from the acquiring bank," he said.

Even at this fee structure we will be able to meet our deadline of break-even by FY2019, he said.

By December, the RuPay cards will be accepted by Japan's JCB (Japanese Credit Bureau) and China's China Union Pay.

First Published: Sun, May 29 2016. 17:48 IST