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Debating if you should apply for a RuPay card or opt for Visa/Mastercard? Check out the various advantages.
RuPay was developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2012. Since then, the payment network has seen a significant growth in the number of people opting for RuPay cards.
Should you get a RuPay card, or should you stick to Visa or Mastercard? To better understand the differences, let’s consider some key factors:
India’s homegrown payment network
The first and most significant feature of RuPay is that it is India’s first very own payment network system. Visa and Mastercard, however, are international payment network systems.
Acceptance, both global and local
Currently, RuPay cards can be used only in India. Since RuPay cards can be used anywhere in India, they have a much better penetration in rural areas. All banks – public sector, private, cooperative, rural – offer RuPay cards, making it easy even for people living in villages to own one. Visa and Mastercard, on the other hand, can be used around the world. These networks have been around for a very long time and are hence widely accepted. You will barely find any retailer who doesn't accept Visa or Mastercard. Another benefit of these cards is that they can be used internationally. If you need cards which are accepted internationally, then Visa and Mastercard are your best option. Currently, RuPay cards are not accepted internationally.
Transaction and processing fees
Transactions via RuPay cards happen domestically, so transaction and processing fees charged on these cards is lower compared to what you would pay for transacting via Visa or Mastercard. In fact, charges are approximately 23% lower.
Since RuPay cards can be used only within India, the processing time for transactions is greatly reduced. Visa and Mastercard operate on an international scale, so processing often takes longer.
All RuPay cardholders are offered accidental insurance cover by the Indian government. Visa and Mastercard do not offer this.
Fuel surcharge waiver
Only some cards from Visa and Mastercard offer a waiver on fuel surcharge. But all RuPay cards offer a 1% fuel surcharge waiver.
Cashback on IRCTC bookings
Booking tickets on IRCTC using a RuPay card makes you eligible for cashback up to a certain amount. Visa and Mastercard don’t offer this benefit.
Cashback on utility bills
Paying utility bills with a RuPay card makes you eligible for cashback up to a certain amount every calendar month. While some cards from Visa and Mastercard may offer cashback, it is usually in the form of reward points.
For availing the services of Visa and Mastercard, banks have to pay an entry fee to them. They also have to pay a quarterly fee to be a part of their payment network. RuPay charges no such fee to banks, and banks, in turn, don’t charge additional fees from cardholders.
How to apply for a RuPay card
First of all, check if your bank issues RuPay cards. Considering almost all types of banks in India offer them, it is highly likely your bank does too.
You will require these basic KYC documents to apply for a RuPay card:
2 passport-size photographs
Once you have these, you just to have to fill a form at your bank and your request for a RuPay card will be registered. You can also apply online by filling a form on the RuPay website.
RuPay cards offer many valuable benefits over Visa and Mastercard, but keep in mind that they are accepted only in India. If you don’t conduct too many international transactions, a RuPay card could be ideal for you.