This posting in The Times of India is both about the general trend of card networks expanding beyond traditional product boundaries, which has been underway now for many years, but also specifically about moves that one of the major networks is making in India, one of the high potential growth markets for credit-related payments products. The piece gets into the movement away from distributed plastics and into more embedded usage of the card scheme in different mobile formats. This move holds true for consumers as well as the more complicated B2B use scenarios.
‘ “India is one of the focus, priority, strategic markets for Visa worldwide because of the sheer potential for hyper-growth. But many things have to be in place for us to realise the full potential”, group country manager Sandeep Ghosh told TOI. The biggest opportunity that Visa sees in India is to provide value-added payment services to businesses which are now increasingly moving to online platforms for transactions with suppliers and distributors. The company is also working on enabling card payments using the existing QR code network for low-value payments. The move comes even as it pushes for developing contactless or NFC-based payment systems.’
Some readers will be aware that India has instituted strict local data management requirements on payment networks, and has temporarily banned one of the major card schemes from issuing new accounts until compliance is fully approved. Visa is not currently under such constraints and is actively moving to create further opportunity in that market. As e-commerce grows across both C2B and B2B uses, the ability to create ease of acceptance in card-based payments becomes a major advantage. As readers have seen in China (and other markets), QR codes have been used to great advantage with the super apps and so that is a large preference into which Visa is moving.
‘According to Ghosh, contactless payments did get a boost during the pandemic, but card control regulations require contactless to be explicitly enabled by the cardholder. Despite having been launched in India six years ago, contactless payments in India are still at 16%. Whereas globally in countries such as Singapore, Australia, the UK and Hong Kong, contactless transactions have moved to well over 85%, driven by the use of cards in public transport. “We are working with partners to enable cards to be an option while scanning a QR code to make payments. This will enable them to use the card to make the payment directly without first using the card to load your wallet and make it a two-step process,” said Ghosh. Currently, credit cards can be used to make payments scanning Bharat QR codes.’
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group