For the period between April 2016 and January 2017, 61.79 million transactions took place on e-commerce websites using RuPay cards. The value of these transactions stood at Rs 4,139 crore. Meanwhile, RuPay card usage at POS terminals for the time period stood at 139.26 million transactions and the value of these stood was Rs 21,227 crore.
Predictably, RuPay card usage at e-commerce sites and POS machines shot up during demonetization period. In December 2016, RuPay saw 11.97 million transactions at online sites with a value of Rs 1,095 crore. POS machine transactions with RuPay cards stood at 47.27 million with the value of the transactions at Rs 7,005 crore.
To give context, for the full financial year 2015-16, e-commerce transactions on the card network stood at 10.24 million transactions with a value of Rs 576 crore.
Note that despite accounting for more than 40% of debit cards issued in the country, RuPay’s usage at online sites and POS machines is low. That can be attributed to the fact that a majority of debit cards issued were from the Jan Dhan Yojana financial inclusion programme.
From MediaNama’s interview with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) CEO and MD in may 2016:
“On POS and e-commerce, we have not grown our share significantly. The market share for them is still bout 5-6% because the bulk of our cards are Jan Dhan Yojana cards. The mainstream cards are about 85 million and the Jan Dhan cards are about 180 million. And most of the e-commerce and POS transactions are from mainstream cards.”
However, it is worth noting that the average ticket size of transactions of RuPay cards at ATMs and POS terminals is comparable to the ticket sizes of all debit cards issued. From an April 2016 report from JM Financial, at ATMs, RuPay’s transaction size was Rs 3,045 while at POS terminals, the ticket size was Rs 1,700. For all debit cards, the corresponding figures stood at Rs 3,092 and Rs 1,700.
Last month, Visa, MasterCard, RuPay and American Express launched the BharatQR an inter-operable QR code payment system for card networks and banks. Around the same time, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed new slabs for debit card merchant discount rate (MDR) banks will be allowed to charge merchants. It proposed differentiated MDR between acquiring infrastructure involving physical terminals (POS machines, mPOS etc) and digital acceptance infrastructure models (such as QR codes). QR codes payment through cards would attract a fee of 0.3% to 0.85% for merchants. MDR is an inter-bank exchange fee that banks charge for enabling digital transactions. It remains to be seen if BharatQR will increase the usage of debit cards.
Download: NPCI data