The RBI’s UPI-credit card linking plan is not working for banks and fintechs


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The central bank’s decision to allow credit card transactions on the Unified Payment Interface—leading India’s digital payment network—has created a slew of complications, ranging from a lack of clarity on merchant discount rates to confusion over merchant authentication and know-your-customer (KYC) norms, according to multiple fintech and banking industry executives.

While the Reserve Bank of India’s announcement on Wednesday to allow QR-based payments through RuPay cards, which are backed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), is expected to result in a five-fold increase in credit on the UPI platform, industry sources estimate that a full roll-out of credit-card based payments will take at least six months.

Currently, approximately 50 million people receive instant loans from banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), and digital lending fintechs. According to senior banking executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity, this market could grow to 250 million users.

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