RuPay cards gaining currency among the poor

HYDERABAD, JANUARY 21:  

More than half the 20.19 crore people who have opened basic bank accounts under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana have activated their RuPay cards and are using them regularly.

About 90 million RuPay cards – envisaged as a home-grown debit card for the economically weaker sections – are being used in the interoperable system of ATM network facilitated by the National Financial Switch alone, “which is a significant indicator for transactions in these accounts,” AP Hota, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), toldBusinessLine.

So far, 170 million cards have been issued to all eligible accountholders. If one also includes use of RuPay cards in their own bank ATMs, the number of active cards in use will cross 100 million. “The combined number of cards in use could be much higher,” Hota said.

The number of RuPay transactions, too, has been increasing steadily. For example, from 20 lakh transactions a day about two-and-a-half months ago, the number has gone up to about 27 lakh, according to NPCI data. The average transaction value is about ₹2,000.

In the last three months, about three crore new accounts were added across the country.

Government data show that the as on January 13, the total balance in these accounts has crossed ₹30,000 crore.

According to a senior executive of State Bank of India, while banks have almost stopped campaigns for new enrolments, people continue to open accounts voluntarily.

Key impetus

New account enrolments are being spurred by, among other reasons, the increasing awareness about the social security cover that accountholders get.

Under the scheme, the RuPay card comes with an inbuilt accident insurance cover of ₹1 lakh for up to 45 days after the cardholder carries out a successful financial or non-financial transaction at a merchant establishment, an ATM or an e-commerce platform.