India This Week in Payments and Commerce

India's NPCI and JCB Partner for Payment Cards:

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an institution driven by RBI to support/drive all the retail payment systems in India has entered into a strategic partnership with JCB International, an auxiliary unit of Japan’s JCB Co., Ltd., for payment cards issuance and acceptance.

As per the agreement, JCB cardholders will be able to transact at 1 million card-accepting terminals and 200,000 ATMs all over India under the NPCI ambit. Adding to it, the partnership also includes the distribution of RuPay/JCB international cards by NPCI member-banks that will be globally accepted through the JCB network.

"Through the partnership with JCB, NPCI can now offer new international RuPay cards with the JCB brand, which are widely accepted throughout Asia where JCB has a strong presence in terms of card merchant network as well as exclusive privileges for its card members.

The new card, RuPay/JCB international card, will work as a RuPay card in India and work as a JCB card outside India, NPCI MD & CEO AP Hota said in a news article.

MobiKwik Wallet Offers Proximity Payments at One of the Largest Retailers in India, Big Bazaar:

Mobile wallet app MobiKwik has tied up with Future Group’s Big Bazaar to enable mobile payments at all its brick-and-mortar stores as well as other all future group physical stores which include Food Bazaar, Home Town and electronics goods network eZone. This payments system will be initiated first in Delhi NCR and Mumbai. Soon this payments service will be extended nationwide.

According to Indian law, one can charge his wallet with a maximum of Rs.50,000. The partnership with MobiKwik is one more step by Kishore Biyani towards the aim of launching a Big Bazaar mobile app in which they claim to offer cheaper rates compared to any other online and offline retailers.

This partnership adds value to the e-commerce and mobile payments systems.

MobiKwik has also partnered with WHSmith India to enable digital payments at its offline outlets recently.

India Participates in China-Led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:

50 founding nations, including India, gathered at Beijing to sign the 60-article agreement of China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Indian Ambassador Ashok Kantha signed the agreement on behalf of the country.

Japan and United States have declined to join the bank. China, Russia and India are the three largest shareholders with the respective shares of 26.06%, 7.5% and 5.92%.

The bank’s regional members (Asian) will be the majority shareholders with 75% holdings.