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Visa is Whining About RuPay; Here is Everything You Should Know

by upendra
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Learn why Visa is raising concerns about RuPay and what it means for consumers and businesses. Get the full scoop on this issue.


In recent times, there has been a buzz in the financial world about Visa expressing concerns regarding RuPay. This issue holds significance not only for the financial sector but also for consumers and businesses. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of Visa’s concerns about RuPay and provide you with all the essential information you need to stay informed about this matter.

Visa is Whining About RuPay; Here is Everything You Should Know

Visa, one of the world’s leading payment processing companies, has been vocal about its concerns regarding RuPay, India’s homegrown payment system. This has sparked discussions and debates across various forums. Let’s explore this topic in depth.

What is RuPay, and How Does It Work?

RuPay, often dubbed as “the Indian card,” is a domestic payment system that was introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It functions much like international payment systems such as Visa and Mastercard, allowing consumers to make electronic transactions. RuPay cards are widely accepted across India and offer various benefits, including lower transaction costs.

Visa’s Concerns Unveiled

Visa’s concerns regarding RuPay primarily revolve around competition and market share. They argue that the Indian government has been promoting RuPay aggressively by offering incentives and discounts to users, making it challenging for international payment systems like Visa to compete on a level playing field. Visa claims that this creates an uneven market, giving RuPay an unfair advantage.

The Impact on Consumers

Visa’s concerns could potentially impact consumers in several ways. If RuPay continues to grow at its current rate, it may lead to reduced acceptance of Visa cards, both domestically and internationally. This could inconvenience travelers and expatriates who rely on Visa for their financial transactions.

Ramifications for Businesses

Businesses that rely on Visa as a payment option for their customers may also feel the effects of this competition. Visa’s concerns could lead to changes in pricing structures and may affect the ease of accepting Visa payments, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.

The Role of the Indian Government

The Indian government has played a pivotal role in promoting RuPay as part of its push for financial inclusion. By encouraging the use of RuPay cards through various initiatives, including the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the government aims to bring more people into the formal financial system. However, Visa argues that these efforts unfairly favor RuPay.

Visa’s Countermeasures

In response to the rise of RuPay, Visa has been exploring various strategies to maintain its market share in India. These include collaborating with local banks and fintech companies to offer competitive services. Visa is also advocating for a more level playing field in the Indian market.

What Does the Future Hold?

The future of Visa and RuPay in India remains uncertain. The competition between these two payment systems will likely continue, with consumers and businesses being the ultimate arbiters of their success. It remains to be seen how the Indian government will address Visa’s concerns and whether RuPay will continue its rapid growth.

Visa Inc., a prominent player in the global payment processing industry, has, in public, downplayed concerns about the rise of RuPay in India, a significant market for the company. However, recent revelations in US government memos, as reported by Reuters, shed light on Visa’s behind-the-scenes concerns about India’s “even playing field.” This article explores Visa’s apprehensions and the broader implications for consumers, businesses, and India’s financial landscape.

Visa’s Private Concerns

Behind the scenes, Visa has expressed concerns about India’s payment ecosystem during a meeting on August 9th, where company executives, including CEO Alfred Kelly, met with the US Trade Representative (USTR). Visa’s primary worry revolves around what it perceives as a lack of a level playing field, particularly due to India’s active promotion of RuPay, its homegrown payment network.

A History of Concerns

Visa’s concerns echo those raised by Mastercard Inc. in 2018, albeit privately. Mastercard had expressed its unease with the Indian government’s use of nationalism to promote RuPay. This was evident in the honorable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s endorsement of RuPay as a patriotic choice.

Visa’s Specific Concerns

Visa is worried about India’s formal and informal policies that appear to favor the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the non-profit entity behind RuPay, over other local and international electronic payment companies. They argue that incentives and pressure are being exerted on Indian banks to issue RuPay cards and support the RuPay-linked transit card initiative.

The Rise of RuPay

RuPay, which was initially designed for domestic use, has gained significant ground in India. As of November 2020, RuPay accounted for a substantial 63% of India’s more than 952 million debit and credit cards, compared to just 15% in 2017. This growth, particularly in the debit card segment, poses a challenge to Visa’s dominance.

Visa’s Market Position

While RuPay’s rise is noteworthy, Visa still holds a 44% market share in India’s credit card business, closely trailed by Mastercard with a 37% share. Visa has remained a market leader in India despite the competitive landscape.

Visa’s Stance

Alfred Kelly, Visa’s CEO, acknowledges the challenges posed by domestic networks like RuPay but underscores Visa’s continued leadership in India. He views these challenges as part of the ongoing dynamics of the market.

India’s Promotion of RuPay

The Indian government, including Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has actively promoted RuPay. Modi has portrayed the use of RuPay as a patriotic act, encouraging citizens to serve the nation by using RuPay cards. This active promotion has contributed to RuPay’s rapid growth.

India’s Data Localization Policies

Visa, like other international payment giants, has faced challenges in complying with India’s data localization policies, which require companies to store certain data within India. While these policies aim to enhance data security, they have posed implementation challenges for international payment companies.

Visa’s Response

Visa has expressed concerns over the costs associated with data localization and the need to establish digital infrastructure within India. Despite these challenges, RuPay’s dominance and India’s regulatory environment have forced Visa to adapt.

The Future of RuPay

The future of RuPay and Visa in India remains intriguing. The competition between these payment systems will continue, and consumers and businesses will play a pivotal role in determining their success. How the Indian government addresses Visa’s concerns and supports RuPay’s growth will be key factors to watch.


Visa’s concerns about RuPay highlight the evolving dynamics in India’s payment industry. As RuPay continues to gain ground, consumers and businesses will benefit from increased choices. Whether you prefer Visa, RuPay, or other payment methods, staying informed about these developments is essential in today’s ever-changing financial landscape.


Q: Is RuPay only available in India? A: While RuPay was initially designed for domestic use in India, some RuPay cards are now accepted internationally through partnerships with other payment networks.

Q: How does RuPay compare to international payment systems like Visa and Mastercard? A: RuPay offers lower transaction costs, making it an attractive option for many users. However, international payment systems like Visa often provide broader international acceptance.

Q: Are there any advantages to using RuPay over Visa? A: RuPay cards come with various incentives and discounts, making them an appealing choice for cost-conscious consumers in India.

Q: Can I use my RuPay card when traveling abroad? A: Some RuPay cards are now accepted internationally, but it’s essential to check with your bank to ensure your specific card is valid for international transactions.

Q: What is the Indian government’s stance on the Visa-RuPay competition? A: The Indian government has been actively promoting RuPay as part of its financial inclusion efforts. However, they also emphasize fair competition in the market.

Q: How can businesses adapt to the changing landscape of payment systems in India? A: Businesses can consider offering multiple payment options, including RuPay, to cater to a diverse customer base. It’s also advisable to stay updated on regulatory changes that may impact payment processing.


Visa’s concerns about RuPay have brought to light the complexities of competition in the financial sector. As consumers and businesses navigate this evolving landscape, it’s crucial to stay informed about the developments surrounding these payment systems. Whether you prefer Visa, RuPay, or another payment method, understanding the options available to you empowers you to make informed financial decisions in an ever-changing world.

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