Mastercard And Visa Losing Market Share To Domestic Payments Networks In India

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New Delhi: Months after Mastercard complained to the US government that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was using nationalism to promote a local rival, Union finance minister said that Mastercard and Visa were losing market share to domestic payments networks.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley spoke about the surging growth of RuPay and Unified Payment Interface (UPI), which allows swift inter-bank fund transfers, on the second anniversary of Modi’s shock decision to replace high-value bank notes in a bid to flush out untaxed wealth.

Modi has said when Indians use RuPay they were serving the country as its transaction fees stay within India and could help build roads, schools and hospitals, an endorsement that has worried Purchase, New York-based Mastercard, which is the world’s second-largest payments processor.

“Today Visa and Mastercard are losing market share in India to indigenously developed payment system of UPI and RUPAY Card, whose share have reached 65 percent of the payments done through debit and credit cards,” Jaitley said in a Facebook post about the various results of the note scrapping exercise, known as demonetisation.

Visa declined to comment. Mastercard did not respond to an email seeking comment.

RuPay process payments between banks and merchants for purchases made with credit or debit cards, while UPI instantly transfers funds between two bank accounts linked to mobile phones.

Jaitley was referring to the volume of transactions, not the value.

Though RuPay, owned by many Indian and foreign banks, accounts for more than half of India’s 1 billion debit and credit cards, industry sources say Visa and Mastercard still process the vast majority of the value of payments transactions in the country. Indian payments transactions were worth $51 billion in August, according to central bank data.

Jaitley said RuPay’s total transactions had leapt to 84.3 billion rupees ($1.16 billion) as of September, from 11 billion rupees before demonetisation. Total transactions done using UPI had jumped to 598 billion rupees ($8.26 billion) from 500 million rupees in October 2016, around the time it was launched.

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