NPCI plans to launch `RuPay’ credit card by March

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which is building a digital platform that will facilitate and accelerate the adoption of digital payments in India, plans to foray into credit cards by allowing banks to issue such cards.

NCPI, set up by the Reserve Bank of India to build the digital backbone for a national digital payment system, has  targeted March 2016 for the national roll-out of the credit card facility, when banks in India will start issuing ‘RuPay’ credit cards to their customers, reports quoted its managing director and CEO A P Hota as saying.

Banks in India are already issuing debit cards under the ‘RuPay’ platform and about 190 million cards have been issued till date, including about 145 million cards under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Scheme.

RuPay is an Indian card scheme conceived and launched by NPCI. It facilitates electronic payments at all Indian banks and financial institutions and competes with Mastercard and Visa in India.

NPCI is the umbrella organisation for retail payments in India. It has undertaken to implement the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) that will be used by banks to innovate and launch mobile payment products in India. This is in line with RBI’s Payment System Vision (2012-15) of a cashless society using latest technology.

Unified Payment Interface will offer a simple and secured platform for digital  transaction through its application program interface (APIs) and harness the power of the existing payment infrastructure like Aadhar. This will foster a new wave of disruptive innovation in digital payment space that will enable financial inclusion of common people in a digital India.

Once this infrastructure is in place, it would allow users to send and receive money electronically without requiring bank account information. All they would need is a single identifier, such as their Aadhaar number or Short Payment Address or mobile number.

The platform will have security layers built into it to prevent misuse and ensure that money goes to the intended recipient. It will be based on a 2-factor authentication method that will allow banks and other institutions to tap into the ever-growing online customer base and ensure financial inclusion through secure micro-payments.

The new interface would also be a blessing for small-scale banks that do not have the necessary infrastructure to set up their own digital banking products.

The solution will facilitate payments functions as secured APIs over the internet, enabling PSPs (payment service providers) such as banks to develop digital payment platforms via mobile applications for initiating payments.

The UPI layer that will sit on top of the existing infrastructure of banks, will enable money to be transferred from one bank to other using mobile phones.