What is RuPay? Everything You Need to Know About India’s Domestic Payment System!

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Carrying a huge amount of cash with you is not only messy but is risky as well. Thankfully, with introduction of payment cards, you don’t need to. The convenience of not carrying your cash around all the time has attracted a lot of new customers to this system. Following the trend, the NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) has launched a domestic card scheme in India called RuPay. It is competing alongside MasterCard and Visa in the financial market and is doing fairly well.


What is RuPay?

This scheme was first named as IndiaPay but due to potential conflicts with similarly named payment systems, the name was changed to RuPay, a combination of the words Rupee and Payment. RuPay cards first came into operation on 26th March, 2012. RuPay cards operate similar to Mastercards and VISA cards wherein the user can use it for transactions at ATMs as well as for online money transfers/shopping.


The government has authorized most public sector banks and few private, rural and co-operative sector banks to issue RuPay cards to the interested customers. Any interested customer may apply for the issuance of a RuPay card once he opens his account in that particular bank.


RuPay cards can be used at any ATM machine in India that is registered under the NPCI’s agreement. RuPay cards are also accepted by 29 banks in all point of sale terminals in India. According to NPCI RuPay cards are accepted at over 140,000 ATMs and 875,000 points of sales. In addition to this, they are also valid to use at over 10,000 e-commerce websites around the world. NPCI has also tied up with Discover Financial, an American financial services company to validate RuPay across multiple countries.

Difference between RuPay and other similar payment cards:

  • Banks won’t have to pay a processing fee to sign up for RuPay compared to tens of thousands of dollars required for other card systems.
  • Banks signing up to RuPay also don’t have to pay any quarterly fee, which is necessary for most of the other cards.
  • The local transactions would be comparatively faster as the processing is done within the country unlike the foreign systems like visa or mastercard.
  • The processing fees will be comparatively less on RuPay as the banks will have to pay less to the payment gateways.
  • RuPay apart from most major banks also include some private and rural banks.
  • Since RuPay is a domestic made system, it is more customized towards local products and services making it more convenient for customers to carry transactions.

International Usage:

Even with NPCIs agreements with Discover Financial, RuPay remains to be a domestic payment system and its international usage is highly limited at the moment. Other foreign card systems simply offer a wider global usage which continues to be one of RuPay’s biggest drawback till date.





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