Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) on Saturday became the first bank to offer ‘RuPay Kisan Card’ with ‘Aadhaar’ authentication.

The Aadhaar number (unique identification number of the farmer) is stamped on to the card and on the magnetic strip behind it, making its use easier on micro-ATMs.

This is expected to provide a further thrust to the financial inclusion initiatives of the bank.

This will help a customer (farmer) with the Kisan card to not only withdraw funds from any ATM, but also use micro-ATMs through biometric authentication.

RuPay Kisan card will be issued by OBC to a select group of customers who now avail of the Kisan credit card facility from the bank.

In all, OBC has 4.41 lakh Kisan credit card accounts. So, potentially, this Kisan card could be handed out to at least 4 lakh existing customers.

OBC became the 25{+t}{+h} bank to use RuPay, a domestic card network set up by the National Payment Corporation of India. The NPCI’s debit card platform was launched in March last year. S. L. Bansal, Chairman and Managing Director, OBC launched two variants of the RuPay cards — RuPay ATM card and RuPay Kisan card.

Lower costs

These cards will significantly reduce transaction costs for the bank as the costs involved in RuPay debit card system are lower than the existing international card schemes. “The cost saving for OBC will be as high as 75 per cent”, said Bansal.

He also urged OBC’s 18,000-strong workforce to go in for RuPay ATM card. “Although we are a late entrant into the RuPay debit card payment platform, we should look at beating the big peer banks in terms of usage”.

Bansal said the RuPay cards would be given free to the bank’s customers.

A. P. Hota, Managing Director and CEO, NPCI, said currently around 1.2 million debit cards (issued by 25 banks) were under the RuPay platform. The RuPay system has been activated in 54,000 of the 6.5 lakh point of sale (POS) terminals in the country. By January next year, all the 6.5 lakh POS will be covered, Hota said.

srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 15, 2012)
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