‘India is more ‘exciting’ market than China for MasterCard’

PTI Boston | Updated on November 20, 2012

MasterCard’s President and CEO, Mr Ajay Banga has said India is a “more exciting” market than China for the cards and payment giant and the company is focused on shifting as many consumers in India as possible from cash to the electronic payment system.

“India still uses a lot of cash in its economy. All I am interested in is converting utilisation for retail payments from cash to alternative forms,” Mr Banga told PTI here.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘India Conference’ organised by the Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Kennedy School, the IIM Ahmedabad alumnus said India is undertaking various steps to help drive “electronification” — from the unique identification number scheme to mobile payments.

Sheer availability and acceptance of cards will help drive growth of the electronic payment system in India and “I am keen to do that,” he said.

Mr Banga, who was named MasterCard CEO last year, added that cash is expensive for an economy to print, distribute and secure, costing between 0.6 to 1.5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The presence of cash in an economy also facilitates income-tax evasion as well as illegal cross border activity.

“Electronic payment would not facilitate that,” he said, adding that the market in India is ready for a boom in the use of electronic payment systems.

Earlier, when asked by HBS Dean, Mr Nitin Nohria, to choose between India and China in terms of which is the “more exciting market for MasterCard”, Mr Banga replied “India.”

Published on March 28, 2011

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