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Cards Payments in India

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Debit Card, Credit Card and Prepaid Cards - 2+ lacs ATMs, 5.3 Cr Credit Cards doing Avg Monthly 17.5 Cr transactions worth 40 Kharab(4 trillion) and 83 Cr Debit Cards doing Avg Monthly 112 Cr transactions worth 249 Kharab(24.9 trillion) in INDIA

Debit Cards - 'Use Now, Pay Now' (#Debitcard)

Debit cards are the payment cards linked to your bank account. A debit card automatically withdraws funds from an attached bank account, and it combines the functions of ATM cards and checks. When you pay with a debit card, immediately, the money is deducted from your savings account.

There are six different types based out of Payment System Providers:

Visa Debit Card: Offered with the partnership with Visa as Payment System.

Visa Electron Debit Card: Offered with the partnership with Visa as Payment System, the only difference being that they do not offer an overdraft facility.

Mastercard Debit Card: Offered with the partnership with Mastercard as Payment System.

Maestro Debit Card: Owned by Mastercard, Maestro makes transactions more secure with its state-of-the-art technology.

RuPay Debit Card: Launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), RuPay is a first-of-its-kind domestic payment network in competitions to Visa and Mastercard.

Contactless Debit Card: This card uses Near Field Technology (NFC) which helps you transact more safely and securely. To make a payment, all you need to do is tap or wave your card at a merchant's payment terminal.

(Will provide complete understanding on what are Payment System providers and How transactions are made in coming blogs)

Credit Cards - 'Use Now, Pay Later' (#Creditcard)

A credit card is a thin rectangular slab of plastic or metal issued by a financial company, that lets cardholders borrow funds with which to pay for goods and services. Credit cards impose the condition that cardholders pay back the borrowed money, plus interest, as well as any additional agreed-upon charges. Credit cards will provide you with an interest-free loan offer if you pay your monthly credit card outstanding on time.

Types of Credit Cards are based on rewards/benefits they provide:

Cashback Credit Cards: Where key benefit is Cashbacks on expenses mentioned, Example: ICICI Amazon Pay provides 5% cashback for Amazon Prime members on payments done on amazon and 2% cashback on payments done via amazon pay to other stores

Reward Points Credit Cards: Where key benefit is rewarding on doing expenses. Rewards Like complimentary airport lounge access, travel vouchers, shopping vouchers, fuel surcharge waivers, etc.

Travel Credit Cards: Gives travel tickets or facilities as rewards

Credit Card for Beginners: Minimized or no annual fees or usages commitment with minimum rewards

Fuel Credit Cards: Gives concessions on fuels, created with a tie-up with Oil companies.

Prepaid Cards - 'Pay Now, Use Later' (#Prepaid)

Prepaid cards are the payment cards which come with money preloaded by you or someone else.

A bank or a non-bank institution issues these types of cards. You can use these cards to buy things with the funds available in your prepaid card.

Below listed are the different varieties of prepaid credit cards.

Open looped cards- These are generally branded with the network (American Express, Visa or MasterCard) they are affiliated with and are also known as open system cards. They are accepted at locations, and merchant outlets approved banks.

Closed looped cards- Mostly, gift cards are issued as closed-loop cards. Their acceptance is limited to the affiliated merchant outlet for buying goods and services at those outlets only.

Semi-open looped cards- These are accepted by many merchant outlets or chains, who are affiliated with the card. Retail chains or shopping centres majorly issue these.

Reloadable card- Majority of prepaid cards come as reloadable cards, where you have the option to add funds once the preloaded amount has been used.

Non-reloadable card- There are such cards where once you spend the available money in the card, reloading cannot be done. You can only make purchases up to the available money in the card.

Fun Fact for you - If you need to Validate your credit card, do below simple calculation


To merchant:

The Merchant Discount Rate(MDR) or transaction discount rate (TDR) is the amount the vendor/merchant has to pay the card associate (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) for every transaction. It is a rate charged to a merchant for the payment processing of debit and credit card transactions. (Will discuss on this topic in detail in later blogs)

Current MDR is 0.60% for transaction above Rs. 2,000 with a maximum cap of Rs 150 per transaction. No MDR for Rupay cards & UPI transactions.

To customer (major once):

Issuance Fee: It is the fees that are charged at the time of card issuance

Annual Fee: The fixed fee you pay every year even if you don’t use the card

Transfer/Withdrawal Fee: Fee levied when you withdraw money/cash.

Card Replacement Fee: Fee levied on card replacement if it is lost, stolen or damaged

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I hope the above information gives you some more clarity on Cards available in India. Do provide your feedback and suggestions on the same.

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Good Luck!!

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