Visa to focus on mass market in India

Global payment solutions major Visa is concentrating on the low-ticket and high-volume digital transactions in India rather than catering to just the rich segment, a top official has said.

Published: 22nd October 2017 02:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2017 03:48 PM   |  A+A-


MUMBAI: Global payment solutions major Visa is concentrating on the low-ticket and high-volume digital transactions in India rather than catering to just the rich segment, a top official has said.

The American company also feels interoperability within the prepaid payment instruments is a positive for it as its network can act as the bridge to facilitate there.

"The larger opportunity given where India is in terms of digital payment penetration...the larger opportunity is in the non-discretionary segments," its group country manager T R Ramachandran told PTI.

"Massification of digital is the thrust area. Affluent (segment) and credit cards is always there. You can make a tweak here, a tweak there. I am not saying that is not important," he added.

Elaborating on the non-discretionary spends, he said making inroads into payments like hospitals and citizen-to-government will be the key.

When asked if the company, which is fighting competition from its global rival Mastercard as well as the state-backed Rupay, is looking at volume play to grow its local business, he said, "I would say digital penetration is the focus, volumes would accrue naturally." Stating that there is "enough room" for more players in the market given the under penetration in the predominantly cash-based economy, he said that there is a "level playing field" in the country, except the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

It can be noted that under the PMJDY, there was a massive ramp-up in the reach of banking which led to opening of millions of new accounts, which were primarily given the Rupay cards.

Ramachandran, however, hinted that there is full competition in the consumption class when it comes to service to be used.

"The middle class side, on the banks side, they are free to choose whichever card -- Visa, Rupay or competition," he said.

When asked about market share and if it has declined post the introduction of the Rupay platform, he declined to spell out any numbers but said the company is "happy" with the market share.

"Overall market has grown, our goal is to see if 2018 growth can be sustained," he said, adding that the "challenge and opportunity" is to ensure that people show the same zeal to adopt digital solutions as the impact of demonetisation tapers off.

The company is undertaking projects like decreasing the reliance on cash at the city level. It is steering a plan to make Visakhapatnam less cash reliant by ensuring every payment in the city can be done digitally, he said.

The company is in talks to extend the same scheme in three more districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is also in talks with three more states in the country to carry out similar projects, he said, without giving a timeline for the same.

To a question on whether the merchant discount rate (MDR) is an impediment to the growth of digital payments, he said it is not so as the rate is only 0.25-0.50 per cent for small ticket transactions.


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