The RBI-backed payment network, RuPay, which is widely seen as a domestic alternative to MasterCard and Visa, has been quietly rolled out for e-commerce use by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
This move will provide another payment option for customers with several websites starting to accept RuPay payments - The Future Group’s online venture, for instance, currently provides a RuPay option.
“All I can say is that the project is live right now. The formal launch, however, may happen sometime later this month or next month,” said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
Online payment gateway firm CCAvenue may eventually be one of the first few companies authorized by NPCI to process RuPay debit cards. RuPay, which was launched last March, was initially backed by four public sector banks - State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Union Bank of India.
These banks had started issuing debit cards based on the platform in order to compete with international payment product facilitators such as MasterCard and Visa.
So far, nearly 3 million RuPay debit cards have been issued.
The next phases of the RuPay rollout will involve the launch of EMV and contactless cards and credit cards.