At a time when the Indian payments ecosystem is abuzz with news around entry of global technology giants, Ru-Pay — the country’s domestic card scheme -— is making slow strides to emerge as one of the major forms of digital payments especially in smaller locations.
Data from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which manages the RuPay card scheme, shows that RuPay card usage at point-of-sales devices has jumped 135% to 459 million transactions in financial year 2018 against 195 million last year.
The trend has maintained the previous year figure as well when it jumped more than 600% from around 25.4 million PoS transactions in financial year 2016. Further the number of RuPay cards in circulation are also growing consistently having reached 494 million in financial year 2018 up 35% against 365 million in the previous year.
“We are trying to push up adoption of RuPay cards among users for merchant transactions directly rather than for ATM withdrawals only. We had run a promotional scheme with Big Bazaar very recently and we have plans to run such cashback and promotional schemes with major retailers in the future as well,” said DilipAsbe, chief executive officer, NPCI.
RuPay is also running offers for transactions across ecommerce portals like BookMyShow, Redbus, MakeMyTrip, Bigbasket and many others, attempting to push usage at ecommerce websites as well as at retail offline points.
Further data around Ru-Pay card usage at ecommerce websites shows a 137% jump to reach 208 million transactions in financial year 2018 against just 87.5 million in 2017. In terms of value of payments the transactions stood at ?16,600 crore against ?5,934 crore the year before, a jump of 180%.
Industry executives in the payments space who process card transactions also said that RuPay has been showing strong adoption among the masses especially with payments slowly going digital in rural India.
For Bengaluru-based payment gateway startup Razorpay, RuPay claims for 21% of the transactions through their platform against 32% for Mastercard and 45% for Visa.
Further NPCI in order to push adoption of RuPay is trying to issue a common card for both ATM and PoS transactions and also for the country’s National Common Mobility programme. Under this scheme, consumers will use the same card for both payments at merchant outlets, cash withdrawals at ATMs along with contactless payments at metro stations.
“Eight banks are currently live on the project and in the next six months, 30 to 40 banks will be made part of the project,” said Asbe. “Once this happens, daily cash payments for public transport can go digital and we could get to see a huge spike in overall digital transactions as well.”
Rupay usage at PoS terminals hold significance because of the profile of customers who were majorly given out these cards. In the initial years, mostly public sector banks were giving out Ru-Pay cards and their numbers shot up when all Jan Dhan account holders were handed out these debit cards as well. From then to currently when Paytm Payments Bank is issuing RuPay debit cards only, their adoption has become more widespread and usage is increasing as well.