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CHAPTER 6

Payment Neutrality – An Open and Free Digital Payments Market for the Good of India

The government of India must maintain a “Payment Neutral” approach to the digital payments landscape in India.

In the same manner as net neutrality, a free and open market that is highlighted by the freedom to choose services, providers and optionality will facilitate the most efficient deployment of infrastructure, a healthy innovation environment and competition on cost.

The global private sector payment providers, banks and networks bring vast experience in digital payments and are on the leading edge of security, interoperability, global connectedness and acceptance that are characteristic of the most advanced and dynamic economies.

The NPCI’s principle mission is to deploy and regulate payments infrastructure in India.  The NPCI role in driving RuPay is in conflict with its responsibilities as regulator. To assure regulation is conducive to promoting a free market and avoid regulatory favoritism toward a government model, RuPay should be separated from NPCI.

Government posture should be to invite market participation in digital payments and avoid policies that overregulate in areas like fees/economics and facilitate partnering in building out the digital payments system.  

Large scale investment is needed that is far beyond what government can reasonably provide. Payment neutrality is critical to securing the investment needed from private firms, banks and networks to tackle the formidable task of building card acceptance in India.

Large scale investment is needed that is far beyond what government can reasonably provide. Payment neutrality is critical to securing the investment needed from private firms, banks and networks to tackle the formidable task of building card acceptance in India.
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