The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has enabled acceptance of JCB debit and credit cards at ATMs and POS terminals in India, through the National Financial Switch and the Rupay Network. JCB is a credit card issuer and acquirer in Japan, with a card acceptance network across 190 countries and territories, and this launch targets tourists and business travellers from Asia, where JCB This will allow a global card base of 101 million JCB card members (across 23 countries and territories) to pay and withdraw money in India, across 225,000 ATMs and over 2 million Point-of-sales terminals, according to a note from the NPCI. Following this partnership, 32 banks will accept JCB cards on ATMs, and two banks on POS. The formal announcement of this launch follows a pilot project in February with ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India and Indian Bank for JCB credit and debit cards acceptance, and with Axis Bank and ICICI Bank for POS acceptance. No target date for enabling 100% reach for ATMs and POS terminals has been specified by the NPCI.
This is particularly interesting, because it is the connection of two country specific networks independent of Visa, MasterCard and American Express; Rupay was built as a network independent of the two global networks, essentially to lower the cost of transaction, and as if in opposition to them, similar to what China did with UnionPay. On its website, NPCI reasons that since the transaction processing will happen domestically, it would lead to lower cost of clearing and settlement for each transaction.
The link between the two payment networks will also allow NPCI member banks (which is pretty much every major bank), to issue co-badged RuPay-JCB International cards, which will work as RuPay cards in India and JCB cards outside the country. According to the NPCI website, the Rupay Global Card currently works with Discover, Diners and Pulse networks in the Asia Pacific region, Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America and Latin America. In the UK, it works with DC Payments, Moneycorp, Travelex, Youtcash and Cardtronics ATMs.