Mumbai: Chinese tourists and people working in India may soon be able to use automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (PoS) terminals in the country to withdraw cash in the Indian currency.
The National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), an agency backed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that processes retail transactions in India, has signed an agreement with UnionPay International, its counterpart from China, to allow Chinese customers to use ATMs and PoS terminals in India. RBI approved the agreement earlier this month.
“There are about 2 million Chinese tourists who visit India each year. NPCI has a network of 1.1 million PoS terminals and 195,000 ATMs in India, which can be used by customers from China,” A.P. Hota, managing director and chief executive officer at NPCI, told reporters at the sidelines of a conference in Mumbai.
China has its own local system managed by UnionPay International which is not supported by US-based Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., which is why Chinese customers cannot use their cards in India as of now.
NPCI signed a similar agreement with Japan’s JCB International last year.
“The commercial and technical agreements with both the Japanese and Chinese payment processors are to be finalized, following which we will open services to people of both these countries by March 2016,” Hota said.
The agreement with the payment companies from both these countries comes at a time when the government of India is pushing for stronger trade relations with these nations under its ‘Make in India’ programme.
Hota said NPCI will also launch its own credit card system in the next one year which will enable Indian banks to issue credit cards under NPCI’s RuPay brand.
Currently, Indian banks issue credit cards using the payment gateway of Visa and Mastercard.
NPCI also submitted its final guidelines on the government-envisaged Bharat Bill Payment System to RBI on Wednesday. “I expect the system to be operational by April 2016. It will create a single window to pay all bills. Banks, bill payment websites and utility companies are all expected to be a part of the system,” Hota said.