Visa complains to U.S. Government on India’s backing for RuPay

A Visa credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Visa Inc has complained to the U.S. government that India’s “informal and formal” promotion of domestic payments rival RuPay hurts the U.S. giant in a key market, memos seen by Reuters show.

In public, Visa has downplayed concerns about the rise ofRuPay, which has been supported by lobbying from Prime Minister Narendra Modi that has included likening the use of local cards to national service.

But U.S. government memos show Visa raised concerns about a “level playing field” in India during an August 9 meeting between U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai and company executives, including CEO Alfred Kelly.

Mastercard Inc has raised similar concerns privately with the USTR. Reuters reported in 2018 that the company had lodged a protest with the USTR that Mr. Modi was using nationalism to promote the local network.

“Visa remains concerned about India’s informal and formal policies that appear to favour the business of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the non-profit that runs RuPay, over other domestic and foreign electronic payments companies,” said a USTR memo prepared for Ms. Tai ahead of the meeting.

Visa, USTR, Mr. Modi’s office and the NPCI did not respond to requests for comment.

When Visa raised its concerns during the USTR gathering on August 9, it cited Mr. Modi’s “speech where he basically called on India to use RuPay as a show of service to the country,” according to an email U.S. officials exchanged on the meeting.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 4:51:51 PM |

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