NPCI launches India’s first rural bank ATM card , May 24, 2011

Kashi Gramin Bank customers can use the card across any of the 87,000-odd ATM networks in the country, NPCI managing director and chief executive AP Hota said, adding this is the first gramin bank ATM card in India.


Mumbai: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is making fast progress with the rollout of the uniform national payment card and launched the first such card with a regional rural bank on Monday in Varanasi, reports PTI.


“We have launched the first gramin bank ATM card with the Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank in association with  Bank of India in Varanasi. The card is called RuPay Gramin Card,” NPCI managing director and chief executive AP Hota told PTI here.


This is a big step in narrowing down the technological gap between major scheduled banks and regional rural lenders, he added.


Kashi Gramin Bank customers can use the card across any of the 87,000-odd ATM networks in the country, Mr Hota said, adding this is the first gramin bank ATM card in India.


Mr Hota further said being sponsored by the Bank (as RRBs don’t have permission from the RBI to make real time settlements), the RuPay Gramin Card will have the logos of the NPCI, Kasi Gramin Bank and the Bank.


The card was launched by Bank chairman and managing directorMV Nair, a bank release said here.

On 14th May, NPCI had launched the first RuPay Card with the Maharashtra-based urban cooperative bank, Gopinath Patil Partik Janata Sahkari Bank. This also is an ATM card and not a debit card, Mr Hota informed.

On why the NPCI is launching only with co-operative and rural banks and not debit cards with commercial banks, he said, “Nationalised and private sector banks have different set of demands. Mainly they want debit cards, which we are not in a position to offer now. We are still working on the technology platform the merchant payment gateway for this.”


Mr Hota expressed the hope that the corporation will be able to offer the same within this year. “We hope to launch the RuPay debit cards by December.”


Set up by the Indian Banks Association (IBA) and being run under the guidance of the Reserve Bank of India, NPCI is working on rolling out the RuPay Card, which the RBI wants to eventually replace MasterCard and Visas Card as the single national payment card.


NPCI recently got the RBI permission to launch the RuPay Card, which finalised only late March. Leading financial consultancy Ernst & Young is working on the technological platform for the RuPay to be rolled out nationally.


In 2009, the RBI had asked the IBA to launch a not-for -profit company and design a rival card, then tentatively called India card, that can meet the requirements of the domestic banks on the lines of the Pay of China.


Currently, every transaction done in India using a debit or credit card is routed through network switches owned by Visa or MasterCard, which are based outside the country. The RuPay would eliminate the need for this connectivity.


Domestic banks paid around Rs500 crore last year as fees to these global card firms for processing debit and credit card payments, 90% of this were domestic deals.


Earlier in the day, NPCI held a seminar in the city on Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS).

Addressing the seminar, advisor to the prime minister on public information infrastructure & innovation Sam Pitroda said if mobile bankinghas to take off really, then the service providers have to bring down cost and incentivise the users for doing so.


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