Having recently complied with new rules laid out by the Indian government surrounding personal and transaction data – a directive that sparked aggressive lobbying effort from US companies who said the rules would increase their infrastructure costs, hit their global fraud detection platforms and affect planned investments in India – Mastercard has now made an official complaint the US government.
The note suggests that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is using nationalism to promote the use of its domestic payments network, and New Delhi’s protectionist policies were hurting foreign payment companies, a document seen by Reuters shows.
Modi has in recent years backed India’s homegrown payments network RuPay, whose rise has broken the dominance of US payment networks such as Mastercard and Visa. More than half of India’s 1 billion debit and credit cards now go through the RuPay payment system, and that means companies such as Mastercard face an uphill task to expand rapidly in one of the world’s biggest payments growth markets.
Modi has publicly endorsed the domestic card payment network, saying using RuPay was like serving the country as its transaction fee stays within India and could help build roads, schools and hospitals.
The note, which was sent by a Mastercard Vice President for Global Public Policy, Sahra English, said that, while Modi’s digital payments push was “commendable”, the Indian government had adopted “a series of protectionist measures” to the detriment of global companies.
“Increasing rhetoric from the prime minister and government mandates on promotion and preference for RuPay … continues to create market access issues for US payments technology companies,” Mastercard continues in the note.
“The Indian government’s preferential treatment of RuPay coupled with fallacies on pricing must be discontinued,” the company asked the US government to propose.
In response to Reuters queries, Mastercard said in a statement it “fully supports” the Indian government’s initiatives and is “deeply invested” in the country. The company did not comment on its USTR note and its executive Sahra English did not respond to questions.
The post Mastercard files complaint against Indian protectionism of RuPay appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.