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Pranab launches India’s own version of Visa and Mastercard ‘RuPay’

India on Thursday launched its own payment gateway ‘RuPay’, equivalent of Visa and Mastercard, which will work on ATMs and mechant outlets and help in reducing cash transactions. President Pranab Mukherjee unveiled the indigenous card at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Dedicating it to the nation, Mukherjee said India is one of the few countries in the world to have its own card payment gateway.

The RuPay platform —developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) — is being used by certain banks like ICICI, State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, among others, for clearing and settlement. RuPay, which works on three channels — ATMs, Point of Sales (POS) and online sales, is the seventh such payment gateway in the world. A variant of pre-paid RuPay card would shortly be launched by IRCTC, which will help in booking railway tickets. RuPay will not only reduce dependence on cash, but will offer users diverse set of payment option within the country, Mukherjee said.

NPCI Chairman Balachandran M said the NPCI board plans to take RuPay card overseas and is already in talks with Discover Financial Services in the US and JDC in Japan for partnership.

Speaking on the occasion, Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu said RuPay would be available at a cost which is much less than those of
international cards.
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