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Why Payment Gateways Should Reduce Charges?

In a bid to provide an impetus to e-commerce in India, the payment gateways should reduce the charges they are levying on the merchants for capturing the transactions. Now they have all the more reason to do so as Reserve Bank of India has decided to cut the fees that banks charge a retailer to process a debit card payment.

With effect from July 1, 2012 the merchant discount rate (MDR) charged by banks will be cut to 0.75 per cent for transactions up to Rs 2000 and 1 per cent for transactions above Rs 2000. At present banks charge a fee of 1.8 per cent to 2 per cent for all transactions be it a credit or a debit card.

While debit card is used as per the availability of funds, credit card usage is linked to the credit limit sanctioned by the issuer. According to RBI, given the nature of both the cards it does not provide a rationale as to why charges should be similar. Just have a look at the data for the cards as of now in India:

  • 280 million debit cards
  • 20 million credit cards

If the same is implemented we will have more payments through e-payment mode like cards and will reduce cash transactions in India. Hope it will help RBI achieve its aim which it has outlined in the ‘RBI Payments Systems Vision Document 2012-15’ that says that cash remains the predominant payment mode used in the country.

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