In an effort to promote the cause of financial inclusion in the country, the Government launched the RuPay card a few years ago. RuPay is India’s own domestic payment network developed on the lines of international payment networks like Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner’s Club and American Express. In a market that has been dominated thus far by international card payment networks, the RuPay card has been gaining much popularity of late.People are now opting for RuPay debit cards instead of Visa or MasterCard, which are the only international payment networks that support debit card transactions in India. In the following sections, we will discuss some of the advantages that RuPay cards are known to provide over Visa, Mastercard, etc.
- Transaction and processing charges:
Foreign payment processors like Visa or MasterCard currently charge a higher per transaction processing charge as compare to RuPay. Since RuPay’s transaction processing happens domestically, this means a lower cost for clearing and settling the transactions. With RuPay, these fees can even be as low as 2/3 the fee charged by foreign cards. So for a transaction of Rs.2000, the banks will have to pay a transaction fee of around Rs.3.25 for foreign cards whereas, for RuPay, they would have to pay a fee of around Rs.2.50 instead.
Also as far as ATM transactions go, banks are charged 45 paise per transaction and 90 paise per transaction in the case of e-commerce and point of sale transactions. Old Visa or MasterCard debit cards charge a variable fee which is in proportion to the concerned transaction. So the larger the value of the transaction, the higher the transaction cost when it comes to accepting credit card or debit cards Branded Visa, MasterCard, Amex or Discover. In case of RuPay, as the processing takes place within the country, the processing charges for RuPay are much lower.
- Fuel surcharge waivers:
Unlike other payment networks, all the variants of the RuPay platinum cards offer a surcharge waiver of 1% every calendar month, on fuel purchases made at petrol stations in India. This is because banks levy a higher fee on international payment gateways as opposed to RuPay cards, where a lower charge is levied.
- Benefits for train travellers:
RuPay cards also currently offer a surcharge waiver for train travel, where customers can enjoy cash back of Rs.25 per month. If an online ticket is booked on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website using RuPay, you can earn this cash back. However, this cash back is provided only if the transaction amount is a minimum of Rs.300. This benefit is not available with MasterCard or Visa debit cards.
- Insurance Benefit:
The Government has also extended an accidental insurance benefit to all RuPay cardholders. This benefit is provided if the individual performs a minimum of one successful financial or non-financial transaction in the previous 90 days at an ATM, a point of sale terminal, a MicroATM or for an online e-commerce transaction. Bank transactions are also considered to be valid transactions in such a case. Subject to certain conditions, a personal accident death and permanent total disability insurance cover of up to Rs.2 lakh are provided to RuPay cardholders. This is another benefit that is not available with a MasterCard or Visa debit card.
- Utility Bills:
The RuPay card also provides a 5% cashback on utility bill payments made every calendar month. So in the case of the HDFC RuPay Premium Debit Card, you will get Rs.5 in cashback for every Rs.100 spent in paying utility bills like water, electricity, gas and so on. A cashback of up to Rs.50 per month can be accumulated where credited within 90 days of the transaction.
- Free access to airport lounges:
Travellers now have free access to lounges located in the major domestic airports in the country through their RuPay debit card. Punjab National Bank, with its RuPay Platinum debit card, offers access to 2 lounges per quarter across 25 airports across India including those located at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, to name a few.
As we can see, RuPay cards provide many benefits in addition to what can be availed on Visa or MasterCard debit and credit cards. RuPay is the first-of-its-kind domestic payment network of India launched by the National Payments Corporation of India on 26 March 2012. Like Visa and Mastercard, RuPay Credit and Debit Cards are also accepted at ATMs, POS devices and e-commerce websites across India. In addition, Rupay cards are also accepted internationally.