The govt has become our competitor: MasterCard

In the wake of rising competition from RuPay — India’s home-grown e-payment facilitator — payment solutions major MasterCard has sought a “level playing field” here.

RuPay, run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), gained traction in the country with banks opening no-frills and zero balance savings accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. It has already cornered around a third of the total market.

“It is great that the government is opening up the market… But the market should be driven by competition,” Ravinder S Aurora, Group Head, Senior Vice-President Global Community Relations, MasterCard, said here Wednesday.

Referring to the NPCI, he said that in a way the “government has become competition”.

“We are happy to have a competitor but it sometimes becomes a concern when the competitor becomes the regulator…am sure that’s a challenge for anybody. When you allow international networks to come into the play, you are bringing a lot more opportunities,” he added.

Reiterating the need for a level playing field, Aurora said a “catastrophic cyber attack” has the potential to wipe away all data.

New products

In order to take on competition, MasterCard is focussing on innovation and advanced technology with better security features.

According to Aurora, over 10 per cent of the company’s global workforce of 11,000 comes from India. It invested $250 million in India last year (2014) and tied up with an indigenous e-commerce portal ‘E-lala’ to promote usage of credit cards. E-lala is promoted by the Confederation of All India Traders.

MasterCard is also looking at tie-ups with various State Governments. It recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat Government for strategic cooperation to accelerate the adoption of electronic payment processes in government, businesses, and transit and tourism industry.