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India Teams Up to Launch RuPay API platform

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has tied up with a private fintech firm to launch an application programming interface (API) platform. The collaboration will enable the launch of the plug-and-play RuPay credit card stack, ‘nFiNi’. 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.

This BaaS (banking-as-a-service) programme provides a ready stack of services required for fintechs and banks to issue RuPay credit cards. According to a news report, the collaboration will help faster and cheaper onboarding of customers and merchants by banks as well as enable fintech firms to build out new models of digital interfaces for customers launching RuPay credit card products.

The nFiNi programme will significantly reduce onboarding time via services offered including a hosted card management system covering transaction processing, fraud, and risk management, open APIs, and surround services to support card programmes. In a statement, NPCI said that fintechs will now be able to co-create new credit card programmes sponsored by banks on nFiNi. The programme will empower fintechs to launch new credit cards swiftly and effectively for retail as well as corporate customers. The collaboration is expected to bring in significant efficiencies for banking and fintech institutions at various levels in terms of operations and customer management. The programme will further enable these institutions to expand their market base to new-to-credit customers.

The private fintech noted that while collaborating with NPCI one of the shared visions was to expand credit issuance in India. The tech stack on RuPay will support scalability from an onboarding perspective for both banks and fintechs. The fintech has hundreds and thousands of micro-APIs for the fintech firms to code, consume, and onboard and launch their services at scale.

The nFiNi platform will power RuPay cards (including the National Common Mobility Card) by offering access to needed services through the NPCI network combined with FirstVisionTM cloud-based open API integrations from the fintech. According to Nalin Bansal, the chief of corporate relationships and fintechs at NPCI, the collaboration will help RuPay build an ecosystem around its credit card products and attract more fintech firms to innovate and scale these offerings.

This stack, among other things, will support the orchestration of the digital user experience, enable push alerts for in-app, mobile messaging app and SMS notifications, simplified integration options, and instant digital card provisioning, allowing customers to transact immediately after being approved for a card.

Earlier in August, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched e-RUPI, an electronic voucher promoting digital payment solutions. As OpenGov Asia had reported, it is a QR code or SMS string-based e-voucher, which is delivered to the mobile of the beneficiaries. The users of this seamless one-time payment mechanism will be able to redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app, or Internet banking access at the service provider. Any government agency and corporation can generate e-RUPI vouchers via their partner banks.

The e-RUPI initiative will be one of the programmes launched over the next few years to limit touchpoints between the government and the beneficiary and “ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner”. The vouchers are person- and purpose-specific, which means that if they are released by the government for COVID-19 vaccinations, for instance, then they can be redeemed only for that.

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