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India Partners with Turkish Fintech to Boost Contactless Payments

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has partnered with a Turkish global payment solutions company PayCore as a certified partner for RuPay SoftPOS to promote contactless payments across the country. Millions of merchants now can convert their near field communication-enabled (NFC) smartphones into a POS machine to accept contactless payments through RuPay SoftPOS, according to a statement.

NPCI is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems owned under the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. RuPay is NPCI’s multinational financial services and payment service system. RuPay SoftPOS enables merchants to accept payments securely from contactless cards, mobile wallets, and wearables just with their mobile phones. Under the collaboration, NPCI said it has authorised the SoftPOS solution developed by PayCore for RuPay. This solution can be integrated into bank or aggregator acquiring systems to enable acquiring of RuPay using mobile phones enabled with NFC (near field communication-enabled) capability or add-ons.

The statement noted that NPCI aims to widen the spread of RuPay SoftPOS among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in different parts of the country, with its network of banks along with PayCore. With PayCore’s SoftPOS solution, which allows smartphones and tablets to be used as POS terminals without any additional devices, the investment costs required by banks to reach over 63 million MSMEs will be significantly reduced, Ali Kançal, Chief Executive of PayCore claimed.

A report explained that using the RuPay SOftPoS system, the merchants will be able to accept contactless payments of up to INR 5,000 (US$69) by a simple tap and pay mechanism using their smartphones. This system will be providing a cost-effective acceptance to the infrastructure for the retailers at a nominal cost. This will also help proliferate the acceptance of digital payments in millions of underserved Indian MSMEs. Under the mechanism, the merchants will be able to convert their android smartphone devices into payment terminals simply by downloading the supported app.

PayCore has been operational in India. SBI Payment, the payment solutions company of the State Bank of India, and Hitachi Payment both use PayCore’s SoftPOS technology. According to Nalin Bansal, Chief of Fintech, Corporates, And New Initiatives at NPCI, the launch of RuPay SoftPoS solution is aimed at supporting small merchants which “form the backbone of our economy” and is one of many in the series of launches starting with its open-loop transit programme in 2017. He further added, “RuPay SoftPoS will not only help merchants seamlessly manage their business transactions but also reduce the hassle of handling cash by accepting multiple payment modes including QR-based payment solutions over UPI. We believe it is important to digitally empower small merchants to ensure deeper penetration of digital acceptance infrastructure in the country.”

By 2025, digital payments in India could account for 71.7% of the total payments volume, leaving cash and cheques at 28.3%. Last year, the transaction volume share in the country stood at 15.6% and 22.9% for instant payments and other electronic payments, respectively. Paper-based payments had a considerable share of 61.4%. More than 70.3 billion real-time payment transactions were processed globally last year, a surge of 41% compared to the previous year, as the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated trends away from cash and cheques towards greater reliance on real-time and digital payments.

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