What is RuPay – India’s card payment network?

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

The financial and payment services system initiated by the Reserve Bank of India was launched in 2012 and subsequently dedicated to the country in 2014. One of the intentions behind RuPay is to facilitate India’s entry into the global payments market through a domestic card establishment.

Why was RuPay introduced?
RuPay aims to fulfill RBI’s vision of creating a “less cash” economy. An effective way to achieve this was to ensure that all Indian banks and financial institutions are tech savvy and offer electronic payment services.

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

As of November 2021, banks in India had reportedly issued 31.67 billion RuPay debit cards with free accident insurance coverage to Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana account holders.

In the absence of a domestic payment network, banks have had to pay high connection fees to multinationals like Visa and Mastercard for trusted connections. As a result, NPCI was formed as a non-profit payments company tasked with building an accessible and affordable payments network for Indians.

And what products are offered?
RuPay offers both debit and credit cards for individuals and businesses. It also has Prepaid and ‘Kisan Credit Card‘. It also offers a “contactless” card that facilitates transactions with a single tap, allowing payments to be made without revealing important card details.

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

First, where are RuPay cards accepted?

As of August 2021, they have been accepted at all ATMs and POS machines and for domestic online and offline purchases across India, according to a financial daily. However, they are not accepted internationally, except for those ATMs, POS machines, and e-commerce sites that have Diner and Discover Financial Service enabled. At the time of the report’s publication, RuPay Global accepted cards at more than 1.90 million ATMs and more than 42.4 million POS locations in 185 countries.

Second, what are the benefits of a RuPay card?
Banks that issue RuPay cards enjoy an advantage in that they don’t have to pay network registration fees, unlike with a MasterCard or Visa registration. This is because RuPay is a domestic framework. Thanks to a zero merchant discount rate, banks don’t charge UPI and RuPay card transactions.

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