The National Payments Corporation of India said that it will be launching RuPay credit cards in a month’s time, a spokesperson confirmed to MediaNama. This was first reported by Business Standard. The spokesperson said that the NPCI is running a pilot project with 10 banks but declined to give further information.
However, it looks like IDBI Bank is first off the mark to issue RuPay credit cards and launched ‘Winnings’ Select Credit Card, as indicated by this Orissa Diary report.
Although RuPay accounts for around 40% of debit cards in circulation, the NPCI is still yet to enter credit cards. Note CEO AP Hota had told MediaNama that RuPay credit cards would be launched around November 2016. But it looks like the launch was postponed with the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
NPCI declined to give information on the merchant discount rate (MDR) retailers and businesses will be charged. However, the credit cards will come in three variants: Select (targeted at the affluent segment), Platinum (targeted towards the youth), and Classic (targeted for the masses).
Typically, banks charge a lower MDR for credit cards aimed at the mass segment and a higher rate for cards such as Platinum cards but consumers get more rewards for usage. MDR is an inter-bank exchange fee banks can charge merchants and establishments. However, Balachandran M, chairman of the NPCI told Business Standard that it will charge a fixed fee for the product and the cost of a transaction is lesser than the existing products in the market.
The cards will also feature:
- Domestic and international airport lounge access.
- Domestic and international merchant offers.
- Cashback on payment of utility bills, at eateries and restaurants.
- Personal accident insurance cover.
- Domestic and international concierge services.
The total number of credit cards in circulation stood at 31.32 million for the month of April with HDFC bank leading the pack with 8.7 million cards followed by State Bank of India (4.68 million) and ICICI Bank (4.28 million).