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RuPay card is Made in India Card. It is India’s own card payment network just like Visa and Master Card and it provides a low cost alternative system for banks to provide card service. What is Rupay? What is the difference between Visa, Master and Rupay? Who developed Rupay? Why was it developed? 

Dedication of RuPay to the nation is symbolic of the maturity of the payment system development in India. said President Pranab Mukherjee after formally launching the Rupay Card

On Mar 2019 PM Narendra Modi launched ‘One Nation One Card’, which can be used for paying for travel on any mode of transportation. This card runs on RuPay network.

Difference between Visa MasterCard Rupay

Visa MasterCard Rupay Cards

What are Payment Networks: Visa, MasterCard, Rupay

Visa, Mastercard or Rupay are payment networks i.e they process payments between banks and merchants for credit/debit card purchases. Payment Networks handle credit and debit card transactions, by providing the technology and networks for processing card payments. This means facilitating transactions between banks (who provide credit and debit facilities) and merchants (who sell goods and services) and charge money from Banks for these services.

Visa and Mastercard don’t actually issue or distribute credit cards or debit cards. Banks issue the credit/debit cards and these have Visa/Master Card/Rupay Logo. The issuing bank of a credit/debit card is in charge of:

  • Approving or denying credit/debit card applications
  • Setting the terms and most of the benefits on the account
  • Paying for transactions on behalf of the cardholder
  • Collecting payments from the cardholder
  • Providing customer service

The image below shows the steps of what happens when a credit card/debit card is swiped. When the credit or debit card details are entered online with CVV or swiped offline, the payment networks ensure that cardholder interacts between banks of a machine of merchant and cardholder bank to make sure that card is not fake, cardholder has sufficient funds to make payments.

Our article How Credit/Debit card is Verified when it is Swiped? explains in detail what happens when a credit card is swiped.

Steps of when credit card is swiped

Steps of what happens when credit card is swiped

Video on Transaction Processing

This video takes through the steps in how payment process, authorization, settlement, clearing works.

Payment networks in the World

Popular payment networks are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, China UnionPay, RuPay, and JCB.

As per Nielsen report, 368.92 billion purchase transactions for goods and services were generated by cards issued worldwide carrying the American Express, Diners Club/Discover, JCB, Mastercard, UnionPay, and Visa brands. Visa cards were used for $1.956 trillion worth of purchases in 2018, while Mastercard credit card purchases reached $810.90 billion for the year. Visa has about 61.5% of the global market payments market, while Mastercard trails quite a long way behind with 25%.

Just about every merchant in the world that accepts credit cards takes both Visa and Mastercard. RuPay is India’s own domestic network.

Rupay Card is an Indian domestic card conceived and launched by NPCI in 2012. It was introduced in the Indian payment system to reduce the monopoly of foreign gateways like Visa and MasterCard because these are foreign companies and their commission is high i.e. the cost of the transaction is high.

Visa and MasterCard are American companies, therefore, they have to work within the ambit of the American law.

In 2014 Visa and MasterCard blocked credit card services to some Russian banks,(Bank Rossiya, Sobinbank and SMP Bank), as a result of US sanctions (ref: BBC report)

Visa, MasterCard the data is in the server outside India. Because of Indian Govt and RBI data localization, part of data is stored in India since Oct 2018.

Which card Visa,Master, UnionPay is used more in the world

Which card Visa,Master, UnionPay is used more in the world

What is Rupay card?

RuPay is an Indian domestic card scheme conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2012. Both Credit card, debit card are supported by RuPay network. Rupay debit card like any other debit card can be used in ATMs, Point of Sales (PoS) and online e-commerce sites beside Aadhar-based micro ATM. The main objective of the RuPay payment network project is to reduce the overall transaction cost and develop products appropriate for financial inclusion. A Point of Sale (POS) is a little machine on which your card is swiped

RuPay is the coinage of two terms Rupee and Payment. The orange and green arrows indicate a nation on the move and a service that matches its pace. The colour blue stands for the feeling of tranquillity which is the people must get while owning a card of the brand RuPay. The bold and unique typeface grants solidity to the whole unit and symbolizes a stable entity.

31 scheduled commercial banks based in the public and private sector, 49 regional rural banks and 175 co-operative have issued over 2 crore RuPay cards. Rupay cards are

For every RuPay-based transaction, NPCI charges a flat 60 paise for acquiring and 30 paise for issuing. For instance, if a customer with a RuPay card issued by Bank A pays through Bank B’s PoS terminal, as the acquirer, Bank B will pay 60 paise to NPCI and, as the issuer, Bank A will pay 30 paise. This is a tiny fraction of Visa and Mastercard’s merchant-discount rate, which is calculated as a percentage of the actual transaction amount.

What is NPCI?

The National Payments Corporation of Indiaभारतीय राष्ट्रीय भुगतान निगम) is an organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.

The organisation is owned by a consortium of major banks and is promoted by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.  Ten core promoter banks are, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Citibank and HSBC.

NPCI supports

  • National Financial Switch (NFS)
  • NACH
  • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS)
  • RuPay
  • Cheque Truncation System (CTS)
  • Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS)
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
  • *99# or USSD
  • BHIM
  • Bharat Bill Payment System
  • Query Service on Aadhaar Mapper (*99*99#)

One Nation One Card

In order to make commuting easier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the indigenously-developed National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) based on One Nation One Card Model in Mar 2019. This initiative is supported by indigenously developed Automatic Fare Collection(AFC) Gate ‘Swagat’ and an Open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System called ‘Sweekar’

One Nation One Card will allow users to pay charges across multiple kinds of transport including metro, bus, suburban railways, toll, parking, smart city and retail across the country. Till date, people have to purchase different subscriptions, cards and tickets for different modes of public transport. Further, a transport card of one state was not applicable to other states.

The RuPay Contactless Card with NCMC is now available with almost 25 banks, including SBI and PNB as debit, credit or prepaid cards. You will have to contact your bank to get the RuPay card. The card can also be issued from Paytm Payments Bank. 


Rupay One Nation One Card

Rupay One Nation One Card

How One Nation One Card works

In Jan 2019, the complete AFC system was deployed in Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) across few stations for field trial purpose.

In Mar 2019 it was used for  Ahmedabad Metro.

Details about One Nation One Card are at CDAC webpage.

How One Nation One Card works

How One Nation One Card works

Is RuPay card used?

RuPay reported 1 billion transactions through both online and offline merchant payment modes in the financial year 2019, a nearly 70% jump compared to the 667 million transactions in the financial year 2018, according to data sourced from the NPCI and the Reserve Bank of India.
RuPay currently has 33% market share of card transactions. In 2013, RuPay’s market share was just 0.6 per cent.
In 2018 Mastercard complained to the Office of the United States Trade Representative that the Indian government had adopted a series of protectionist measures to the detriment of global companies.

The challenge RuPay faces is its limited reach in the premium segment. Its user base is still dominated by rural users. Nearly half of the RuPay cards have been issued to Jan Dhan account holders. So half of the RuPay users would be in low-income people who have recently been included in the formal banking system.

Another challenge is international acceptance. While the government is trying to turn RuPay into an international card, yet it may take a long time to match the acceptance level of Visa and Master Card.

What is the difference between RuPay Card, VISA Card and Master Card?

  • Visa Card and MasterCard are foreign payment gateways that provide payment facility to most of the banks in the world, where RuPay is a domestic payment Network.
  • Operating costs are less for RuPay than MasterCard or Visa Debit Card. Since every transaction through RuPay will take place within India, the banks have to pay less service charges to the payment gateway as compared to Visa, MasterCard.
  • Visa or MasterCard are American companies and when we use its card, then for data processing and verification, the data goes to the company’s server which is located internationally. Whereas RuPay card is used for data processing and verification in India only so, its processing is fast.
  • Banks are required to pay a fee for joining a foreign payment network such as Visa Debit Card or MasterCard but do not have to do so in RuPay Card.
  • RuPay card is offered by the public sector, select private banks, rural and cooperative banks whereas others don’t include such small banks in their network.

MileStones of Rupay Card

The following image shows the Milestones of Rupay Card.

Milestones of Rupay Card

Milestones of Rupay Card

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Hope now you know what are payment Networks? What is the difference between Visa and MasterCard? Do you have a Rupay card? If not please approach your bank and ask for it.


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