The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a new regulation that will allow cardholders to choose their network provider for debit cards, credit cards, or prepaid cards. This regulation will be implemented starting from October 1, 2023.
Banks usually have exclusive agreements with card networks such as Visa, Mastercard, or RuPay, and issue cards on their preferred network. Currently, there are five card networks in India: American Express Banking Corporation, Diners Club International Ltd., MasterCard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd., National Payments Corporation of India – RuPay, and Visa Worldwide Limited.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stated in its preliminary proposal that the approved card networks collaborate with banks and non-banks to issue debit, credit, and prepaid cards. The selection of an affiliated network for a card issued to a customer is determined by the card issuer and is dependent on the agreements established between the card issuers and card networks. Upon evaluation, it has been noted that the current arrangements between card networks and card issuers (both banks and non-banks) do not promote customer choice.