The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has tied up with Nasdaq-listed fintech firm Fiserv to launch an application programming interface (API) platform for startups and banks looking to build credit card-based products on top of the RuPay rails, said senior company executives.
They said 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.
“We are trying to expand the credit ecosystem in India, where a lot of great work has happened on the debit side,” Rishi Chhabra, head of India and Sri Lanka at Fiserv.
The Wisconsin-based firm, which has been operating in India for over a decade, works with seven of the top ten credit card issuing banks in India.
“While collaborating with NPCI one of the shared visions is to expand credit issuance in India,” said Chhabra. “Our tech stack on RuPay will support scalability from an onboarding perspective for both banks and fintechs. We have hundreds and thousands of micro-APIs for the fintech firms to code, consume and onboard and launch their services at scale.”
The collaboration comes at a time when card networks Mastercard and American Express have been barred by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from issuing any new cards owing to non-compliance with data localisation mandate resulting in a clutch of card-issuing banks migrating their networks to Visa and NPCI’s homegrown RuPay.
According to Nalin Bansal, the chief of corporate relationships and fintechs at NPCI, the collaboration with Fiserv will help RuPay build an ecosystem around its credit card products, thereby attracting more fintech firms to innovate and scale these offerings.
“In India what we have achieved on debit, we haven’t been able to emulate on credit. The need now is how to make credit more affordable for a larger set of customers,” said Bansal. “The platform will help onboard fintech firms at a fairly reasonable cost and speed. These need not be high-end, premium products. It could be a credit card with lower feature sets and limits to the broad-based credit market in India.”
The platform, called ‘nFiNi’, will power RuPay cards by offering access to services through the NPCI network and Fiserv’s microservices-based platform-as-a-service with a set of APIs. This stack, among other things, will support 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.