IndiaPay Credit Card from RBI

The Reserve Bank of India will launch an IndiaPay credit card – an Indian version of the China UnionPay card – by the end of next year.

“Inspired by the success of the China UnionPay card, we will be launching a similar one in our country to promote the use of plastic money among Indians. The credit card will be especially designed for the common people with low interest rates and risk reduction facilities,” RBI executive director R.B. Barman told reporters. Barman said the National Payment Council of India is working on the registration process of the card. The NPCI authorities would decide on the type of the card – whether it would be a smart card or something else. “If all our plans and government procedures gel well then we can hope to release this card in the market by the end of 2009,” he added.

The China UnionPay card was introduced in 2002. The card gives access to over 85,000 ATM counters of 14 major and other minor banks across the world. Besides, the card can function as regular MasterCard or Visa credit cards abroad.

I wish that Indian government use this opportunity to promote the use of PAN numbers. RBI should require all IndiaPay credit card applicants to have PAN number. If many more Indians start obtaining PAN number, that would act as Indian version of American social security number. Widespread use of PAN number will indirectly help us to fight corruption and tax evasion.

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