Soon you can book train ticket on IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) through RuPay pre-paid card. RuPay is India’s own card payment network just like Visa and Master Card and provides an alternative system for banks to provide debit card service.

The system has been developed by National Payment Corporation Ltd (NPCL). To make this system acceptable internationally, the company is in advance talks with Discover Financial Services of US for Western world and JCB of Japan for Eastern world.

RuPay is 7th payment network in the world after Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB.

On Thursday, President Pranab Mukeherjee dedicated the payment network to the nation.

“An indigenous system like RuPay will, hopefully, not only reduce the dependence on cash and cheque modes of settlement but will also make it easier to offer products based on specific requirements of diverse user sets within the country,” he said, while adding that India is one of the few countries in the world to meet domestically the need for card payment system.

Currently over 12 per cent of GDP worth cash and coins are in circulation which is quiet high.

RuPay, like any other debit card, works on three channels, ATMs, Point of Sales (PoS) and online sales beside Aadhar-based micro ATM.

So far, 31 scheduled commercial banks based in public and private sector, 49 regional rural banks and 175 co-operative have issued over 2 crore RuPay cards. This card is accepted at all the 1.6 lakh ATMs, 95 per cent of point of sales terminals (9.45 lakh+) and most of the online merchants (about 10,000) in the country.

All transactions under RuPay card scheme are processed within the country and the transaction cost is reimbursed in domestic currency which can save a lot of foreign currency.

Speaking on the occasion, Financial Services Secretary G.S. Sandhu said RuPay would be available at a cost which is much less than those of international cards. For clearing and settlement of each transaction, banks will have to pay 40 per cent lower fees in RuPay platform compared to other international platforms.

Public sector banks have already installed 25,331 RuPay cards enabled ATMS and 9,000 more ATMs would be installed in the current fiscal, Sandhu said.

A variant of the card called ‘Kisan Card’ is now being issued by all the public sector banks in addition to the mainstream debit card which has been issued by banks. Further, a separate card for payment of milk purchases has also been launched.

(This article was published on May 8, 2014)
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