Cashless Payment System in India - Department of Mathematics

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Cashless Payment System in India
Ashish Das
Department of Mathematics
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Mumbai-400076, India
April 20, 2012
A. Objective
The card based payment system functions with its players that include
•The card companies (switch provider)
•Banks (acquirer and issuer)
•Merchants
•Cardholders
Card based payment systems have been in vogue for several years
Currently, there are 17.5 million credit and 280.4 million debit cards in the
system.
However, annually there are just
18 transactions per credit card and ONE transaction per debit card.
Thus we see that use of cards and its popularity is still very limited.
•What are the reasons for this subdued transition to cashless payments?
•We need a review of the roles performed by various players of the system.
•Provide structured and implementable roadmap to move towards cashless
payments.
POS
B. Present scenario
•Credit card is a mode of payment that is an alternative to cash.
•Credit card offers free credit, bears risk, and thus is an expensive payment
mode.
•The product design and promotions are such that the pricing is kept hidden and
the users are oblivious of the fact that the cost is ultimately borne by them.
•Debit card is another alternative to cash.
•This mode of payment offers no credit, carries no or minimal risk.
• It has still been priced at par with the credit card by the banks- a price
someone pays.
•Costs of the debit/credit card system are passed on to the merchants who
accept cards.
•Such expenditures for the merchants can be as high as 50% of their profits.
•There are three options for the merchant (three scenarios) –
(i) If he is not allowed to surcharge; he passes this cost to his product price.
The card (or even cash) user is not able to feel this hidden price adjustment
upfront.
(ii) If the merchant is allowed to surcharge or offer discounts for cash, the
card user prefers to use cash instead, leading to an inefficient payment
mode.
(iii) The merchant decides not to incur additional expenses- Do not accept
cards.
Year /
Period
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
Year /
Period
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
Number of Valid
Cards as of EndMarch (Lakh)
—
—
173.27
231.23 (33%)
275.47 (19%)
246.99 (-10%)
183.31 (-26%)
180.59 (-2%)
174.83 (-3%)
Number of Valid
Cards as of EndMarch (Lakh)
—
—
497.63
749.76 (51%)
1024.37 (37%)
1374.31 (34%)
1819.72 (32%)
2278.44 (25%)
2803.81 (23%)
Number of
Transactions
(Lakh)
1001.79
1294.72 (29%)
1560.86 (21%)
1695.36 (9%)
2282.03 (35%)
2595.61 (14%)
2342.42 (-10%)
2651.45 (13%)
3163.98 (19%)
Credit Card Payments
Average Number
Amount of
of Transactions
Transactions
per Card
(Rs. Crore)
—
17662.72
—
25686.36 (45%)
—
33886.47 (32%)
8.38
41361.31 (22%)
9.01
57984.73 (40%)
9.94
65355.80 (13%)
10.89
61824.15 (-5%)
14.58
75515.68 (22%)
17.81
96248.78 (27%)
Average Amount Average Amount
per Transaction of Transactions
(Rs.)
per Card (Rs.)
1763
1984
2171
2440
20451
2541
22887 (12%)
2518
25018 (9%)
2639
28735 (15%)
2848
41504 (44%)
3042
54161 (30%)
Number of
Transactions
(Lakh)
377.57
415.32 (10%)
456.86 (10%)
601.77 (32%)
883.06 (47%)
1276.54 (45%)
1701.68 (33%)
2370.63 (39%)
3260.60 (38%)
Debit Card Payments
Average Number
Amount of
of Transactions
Transactions
per Card
(Rs. Crore)
—
4873.67
—
5361.04 (10%)
—
5897.14 (10%)
0.96
8171.63 (39%)
1.00
12521.22 (53%)
1.06
18547.14 (48%)
1.07
26418.11 (42%)
1.16
38690.65 (46%)
1.28
53237.40 (38%)
Average Amount Average Amount
per Transaction of Transactions
(Rs.)
per Card (Rs.)
1291
1291
1291
1358
1310
1418
1412 (8%)
1453
1546 (10%)
1552
1654 (7%)
1632
1888 (14%)
1633
2095 (11%)
Card Business in India
Number of Transactions (Lakh)
Card Business in India
Amount of Transactions (Rs. Crore)
3500.00
120000.00
3000.00
100000.00
2500.00
80000.00
2000.00
60000.00
1500.00
40000.00
1000.00
20000.00
500.00
0.00
0.00
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Debit
Debit
Credit
Card Business in India
Number of Valid Cards (Lakh)
Credit
Card Business in India
Average number of Transactions per Card
3000
20
18
2500
16
14
2000
12
1500
10
8
1000
6
4
500
2
0
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
2009-10
Debit
Credit
2010-11
2011-12
0
2006-07
2007-08
2008-09
Debit
2009-10
Credit
2010-11
2011-12
Card and cash in retail sector
•India’s retail market: According to A. T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index, it is worth
about US$ 435 billion. Organized retail accounts for 7 percent of retail market.
•Share of card payments: With ` 150,000 crore worth of transactions being through cards at
POS during 2011-2012, this accounts for about 6.5% of retail sales in India.
•In other words: Card transactions reduced cash transactions in the retail sector by about 6.5%.
•Impact on GDP: In a simulation study of the U.S. economy, Global Insight found that a 10%
shift of currency into lendable reserves increases GDP by just above 1% annually.
•Cash in circulation: As of March 2012, banknotes worth ` 10.64 lakh crore were under
circulation. In value terms, the banknotes in circulation increased at an annual rate of 12%
during 20011-12.
•Cash management: With costs for printing banknotes being of the order of ` 2,800 crore
annually, card usage at POS leads to about ` 140 crore of savings in currency management.
Thus, as a crude estimate, savings on banknotes printing alone (excluding the huge costs
incurred for secured transportation, counterfeit detection / prevention, etc.) are of the order of `
28 crore for every 1% increase in the use of cards in retail sales.
Debit Card Payments
Quarter /
Period
April-June 09
July-Sept. 09
Oct.-Dec. 09
Jan.-Mar. 10
April-June 10
July-Sept. 10
Oct.-Dec. 10
Jan.-Mar. 11
April-June 11
July-Sept. 11
Average Number
of Valid Cards
(Lakh)
Number of
Transactions
(Lakh)
Average Number
of Transactions
per Card
Amount of
Transactions
(Rs. Crore)
1433.25
1551.25
1664.02
1780.26
1883.17
1998.75
2120.17
2228.07
2349.18
2489.31
373.48
427.07
439.93
461.23
507.23
584.26
637.63
641.51
707.40
804.07
0.26
0.28
0.26
0.26
0.27
0.29
0.30
0.29
0.30
0.32
5480.62
6545.26
7262.95
7129.28
8064.51
9209.34
11042.73
10374.08
11690.78
12894.41
Average Amount Average Amount
per Transaction of Transactions
(Rs.)
per Card (Rs.)
1467
1533
1651
1546
1590
1576
1732
1617
1653
1604
382
422
436
400
428
461
521
466
498
518
% rate of increase
% rate of increase of
of use over
use over 9 quarters
previous quarter
5.65
-3.97
-2.00
3.96
8.53
2.88
-4.26
4.59
7.27
23.96
Credit Card Payments
Quarter /
Period
April-June 09
July-Sept. 09
Oct.-Dec. 09
Jan.-Mar. 10
April-June 10
July-Sept. 10
Oct.-Dec. 10
Jan.-Mar. 11
April-June 11
July-Sept. 11
Average Number
of Valid Cards
(Lakh)
Number of
Transactions
(Lakh)
Average Number
of Transactions
per Card
Amount of
Transactions
(Rs. Crore)
237.55
218.38
208.68
196.28
190.85
187.36
181.69
181.03
176.99
176.19
558.50
590.04
603.65
589.72
609.74
655.93
694.42
691.35
727.53
788.83
2.35
2.70
2.89
3.00
3.19
3.50
3.82
3.82
4.11
4.48
14611.66
14721.14
16430.63
17118.39
16947.87
17924.71
20528.21
20144.90
22127.50
23244.55
Average Amount Average Amount
per Transaction of Transactions
(Rs.)
per Card (Rs.)
2616
2495
2722
2903
2780
2733
2956
2914
3041
2947
6151
6741
7874
8721
8880
9567
11298
11128
12502
13193
% rate of increase
% rate of increase of
of use over
use over 9 quarters
previous quarter
14.92
7.06
3.86
6.34
9.58
9.17
-0.08
7.64
8.92
90.43
C. Drawbacks of the present system
Oblique pricing structure treats and prices the credit and debit card in a similar
manner.
This has several drawbacks hindering its growth/popularity and even cause
potential risk to users.
We list few of the drawbacks.
Under utilisation of debit cards: Though the number of debit cards is currently 16
times higher than the credit cards, the average number of transactions per debit
card is 14 times less.
Lower acceptability of cards by merchants: The merchant fees at POS for debit
card swipes is a disincentive for small and medium merchants, who have less
pricing power due to their low volumes, to transit to card based payments. With
6.3 lakh POS terminals, Debit and credit cards together account for only three
card transactions per day per POS.
Increase in cost of currency management: Card transactions at POS have been
only about 6.5% of retail sales. This large cash dependence (93.5%) imposes
huge pressures on currency management.
Reduces reserve base of the banking system: Stock of currency held
outside of the banking system constitutes a potential source of
unproductive economic resources because these cash stores are not
available for credit expansion— thereby impeding monetary growth.
Lack of accountability: Predominance of cash in retail sales leads to
deterioration in business accountability as transaction tracking is not
possible, it enables tax leakage, diminishes financial inclusion and
enables existence of a parallel economy.
Potential of fraud: There is greater risk attached to debit cardholders
in case of fraud as cardholder is deprived of the money. Currently
banks offer either pin-based or signature-based debit cards. As a lost
or stolen debit card is useless without its PIN, consumers usually
prefer pin-based debit cards.
The Merchant Survey on Card Payments (IIT Bombay)
http://www.math.iitb.ac.in/events/help_merchantsurvey2009.html
•It is felt that reasoned views and comments of the merchants is crucial in deciding
whether they feel there is some component of unreasonableness in arriving at the MDR,
more so since currently credit and debit cards have taken the place of a basic banking
service for the merchants.
•The central bank has noted the increased usage of credit cards in India and considers it
prudent to have inputs from merchants in order to arrive at some crucial conclusions.
•A merchant survey has been undertaken on lines similar to the Canadian survey carried
out and reported in a recent Discussion paper by Bank of Canada.
•Apart from studying the MDR, the survey aims to analyse opinions from merchants and
service providers on existing rules made by credit card companies.
•In order to address the issues of credit and debit card usage, we aim to
a) estimate the share of cash and cards in retail sales.
b) obtain the costs incurred by retailers for accepting cards (be it credit or debit
cards) as against cash.
c) determine retailers’ preference of accepting various modes of payment.
d) establish whether credit and debit cards costs the same to merchants.
e) understand how merchants account for MDR and their willingness to bear it.
f) determine whether there is any indirect subsidization provided by cash
consumers for card consumers.
g) know whether the displayed selling price of goods could be reduced if
merchants are allowed to surcharge.
h) know merchants’ opinion on the effect of freedom to surcharge.
i) know whether merchants prefer a ceiling on debit card fee or not.
Cost of Payment Modes: (per ` 100)
Sample Coverage:
Merchant Category
Frequency
General Departmental Stores
3
SuperMarkets
2
Clothes
5
Expenses on Cash Transactions
0%
8%
Less than 5 paisa
6%
23%
6%
3
5 paisa to 25
paisa
Leather Products
1
25 paisa to 50
paisa
Pharma and Medical products
3
50 paisa or more
Wood and wood Products
1
Glass Products
4
Hardware Shops
1
Jewellery
5
Travels
2
Others
5
Electronic items
Expenses on Card Transactions
80%
Less than Re 1.
40%
Re. 1 to Rs. 1.50
Rs. 1.50 to Rs.2
Rs. 2 or more
37%
Accounting for MDR:
How is MDR Accounted
3%
Whether Loan Component of the MDR
is Reasonable or Not
6%
Cash Discount
Modes of Payments:
12%
Distribution of Card Usage
(Number and Amount of Transactions)
91%
11%
Less than 20%
29%
23%
20% to 40%
40% to 60%
More than 60%
37%
14%
Adjust selling price so as
to account for part of
the MDR
Yes
Different profit margins
on card and cash
Can't Say
No
74%
Preference of Payment Modes:
Preference of Payment Mode
Impact of Freedom to Surcharge:
Could Selling Price be Reduced, if
Allowed to Surcharge?
Cash
34%
Credit cards
37%
0%
3%
37%
Debit Cards
No
Can't say
Credit and Debit
cards alike
63%
Yes
26%
Merchants’ Reasonable MDR:
MDR Merchants are Willing to Bear
0%
14%
Upto 0.2%
31%
Preference for Debit Card if MDR has a Ceiling:
A Ceiling on Debit Card Merchant
Fees
14%
0.2% to 0.5%
29%
0.5% to 0.8%
Yes
0.8% to 1%
No
More than 1%
26%
86%
Summary of survey findings
From the initial set of responses of the survey, that is fairly representative of size and sectoral
composition, several important facts emerged.
•The usage of card based payment system by and large is quite prevalent (two-fifth of the
respondents reported more than 40% sales through cards), though not yet so among smaller
merchants.
•The merchants reported significant differential in cost for transactions done through cash as
against cards and the cost differential made cash a more preferred mode of transaction, especially
so among the smaller merchants. The merchants did not distinguish between the credit and debit
cards since, in India, the cost of using the two types of cards is similar.
•The merchants felt that the loan component of MDR is unreasonable and they account for it by
having different profit margins for cash and card transactions. They said that they were willing to
bear MDR of less than 1% and when asked who according to them should fix MDR, a majority of
them (three-fourth) felt that the MDR should be fixed by the regulator (RBI).
•Two-fifths of the merchants said that the ability to surcharge would reflect on reduction in their tag
prices. The remaining merchants were either unsure or did not think that the freedom to surcharge
would affect their selling prices.
•The merchants said that though at present they do not distinguish between debit and credit cards,
as they cost the same to them, they would certainly have a preference for debit cards if the
transaction cost was fixed realistically to, say, ` 4 per transaction irrespective of its size.
D. Proposed action
•There is a need for RBI to subsidize switch charges, to promote cashless
payments.
•The pin-based debit cards are more secure than signature-based debit cards.
Since all existing debit cards (signature-based or pin-based) are already
associated to a PIN, in order to mitigate risk, appropriate regulatory measures
should be put in place to make all debit card transactions at POS pinbased. This will use the already existing resources and technology.
•Given the cost and risks involved in handling cash, banks need to favourably
price electronic products and a situation where electronic products are costlier
than paper products should not arise. Thus, to glide through from cash based
to card based products, our analysis suggests the MDR on debit card could
be kept at 0.2% with a cap of ` 20.
•The credit card is a frilled product since it provides quick credit. The
interchange on credit cards should therefore best be left to the issuer banks
and competition should dictate the pricing in consonance with RBI’s general
policy on non-priority sector personal loans. The interchange, currently being
borne by merchants, forms a part of the MDR. In order to provide a level
playing field, it is recommended that the merchants should be given the
freedom to surcharge on credit cards.
•In order to ensure that the freedom provided to merchants to surcharge does
not lead to a kill for card based payment system (by disincentivising card
users), it is recommended that the no-surcharge rule be applied strictly to
no-frill debit cards.
•In order to provide convenience to both merchants and cardholders, cash
withdrawal at POS should be clubbed along with purchase so as to reduce
costs and increase efficiency in cash handling.
•The usage of no-frill debit cards should be encouraged. In order to
educate people on the advantages of debit cards over cash, RBI should
organise focused financial education campaigns among merchants and
cardholders.
•The Government may also consider promoting avenues where tax benefits
are provided to merchants for accepting card based payments, e.g. an
appropriate tax rebate can be extended to a merchant if at least 60%
value of his transactions are through cards. The government should
minimize, if not eliminate, the duties and taxes on manufacture and sale
of EDC machines to promote its acceptability.
•The Government may also consider promoting card payments by reducing
VAT imposed on consumers (who pay through cards).
•Mobile phones have come up with active and passive NFC, substituting a
card. Similarly, normal and GPRS EDC machines will get replaced by mobile
phones with EDC capabilities (e.g. The Square). The mobile phone debit
cards and EDC enabled mobile phones could be linked to one’s bank
account just like an ordinary debit card / EDC machine and can be used
for retail payments.
•Prepaid debit card is a debit card that is not linked to a regular bank
account, but where the consumer instead pays a bank or merchant ` x (plus
fees) and is given a debit card that can draw on up to ` x. Banks should be
encouraged to issue prepaid and reloadable debit cards to noncustomers.
Distribution of MDR among providers for Debit Card
Distribution of MDR among providers for Credit Card
Considering MDR = 1.5%
Player
Functions
MasterCard / Visa  Providing switching service
Share
5%
1. Providing POS terminal
Player
MasterCard / Visa  Providing switching service
1. Providing POS terminal
Existing share
Proposed share
(MDR = 1.5%)
5%
(MDR = 0.2%)
25%
20%
50%
75%
25%
2. Maintaining POS terminal
2. Maintaining POS terminal
Acquirer
Functions
3. Providing current account facility to the merchant
3. Providing current account facility to the merchant
20%
4. Collecting transaction amount
Acquirer
4. Collecting transaction amount
5. Paying periodic lumpsum fee to the switch provider
5. Paying periodic lumpsum fee to the switch provider
6. Providing merchant service (call centre)
6. Providing merchant service (call centre)
1. Marketing & issuing debit card (usually free)
1. Marketing & issuing credit card (usually free)
Issuer
2. Periodic lumpsum payment to switch provider
2. Periodic lumpsum payment to switch provider
3. Providing customer service (call centre)
3. Providing customer service (call centre)
Issuer
` Crore
4. Extending credit to credit card holder
Total credit card usage in 2009-10 = ` 63000 Crore
75%
5. Bear cost of free credit for 35 days
6. Extending credit to those who pay late
Income through MDR (1.5%) = ` 945 Crore
7. Bearing risk for credit default
8. Bearing cost of fraudulent usage
Share in
MDR (%)
MasterCard/Visa
Acquirer
Issuer
Income through
MDR
5
20
75
47
189
709
` Crore
Total debit card usage in 2009-10 = ` 26500 Crore
Income through MDR
(1.5%) = ` 398 Crore
Proposed income through MDR (0.2%) = ` 53 Crore
Share in
Income
Proposed share
MDR (%) through MDR in MDR (%)
MasterCard/Visa
Acquirer
Issuer
5
20
75
20
80
298
25
50
25
Change in revenue
income = ` 345 Crore
Income through
proposed share
Other income sources
Change
13
27
13
Lumpsum fees
Larger CA balances
Larger SA balances; Annual fees
7
53
285
Other income sources
Lumpsum fees
Larger CA balances
Larger SA balances
E. Concluding remark
The report’s recommendations will lead to a
transition from the expensive and thrusted
credit card system to a need based debit card
system which is optimal for the economy and
beneficial to the end users (merchants and
consumers). It is time that the artificial tilt
that has been in existence for the benefit of
the providers (banks and switch providers) at
the cost of the users gives way to a
rationalized system.
Thank you…
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