Mastercard to invest $ 1 billion in India

MUMBAI: Payment Company MasterCard Has Said It Will Invest An Additional $ 1 Billion In India, Nearly One-Third Will Go To Build A Node For Payment Processing That Goes More Than Its Commitment To The Reserve Bank Of India ( RBI ) About Storing Data In The Country. This Is An Addition To The $ 1 Billion That The American Giant Has Pumped Into India In The Last Five Years, Many Of Which Provide Technology And Back-office Support To Global Operations.

Speaking To TOI, MasterCard Co-president (Asia-Pacific) Ari Sarker Said In The Last Five Years, The Company Has Made A Fundamental Shift In Its Presence In India. “From 30-odd People In Essentially A Sales And Distribution Organization, We've Grown To Over 2,000 People Here, Representing 14% Of Our Global Workforce. We Have Technology Centers In Baroda, Pune And Gurgaon," He Said.

“Our Technology Hub Is Going To See An Investment Of $ 300-350 Million. We Are Still Working On Details Of The Exact Location - My Sense Is That It Will Be In Pune And Baroda As We Don't Want To Create New Cities, ”said Sarker. “The RBI Has Said Very Clearly It Only Wants Data Localization And Data Residency In India. We Are Going Beyond That By Creating Processing Capability In India. And We're Doing That For Business-competitive Reasons," Said Sarker.

“Creation Of This Global Node In India Will Give Us Complete Flexibility To Bring Any Innovation To India. This Is Being Done With Our Business-competitive Lens On, And Not Constrained In Bringing New Innovations After We Are Able To Replicate Everything In The Local Market, ”he Said." Given That It Connects To Our Global Network, We Will Then Evaluate How We Load Balance And Move Our Global Traffic So That We Can Use The India Node For Other Markets As Well," Sarker Said.

For MasterCard, India Is Not Just About Having More Of Its Cards Or Having More Swipe Machines. It Is Also A Market Where It Can Deploy Its Financial Infrastructure Capability, Something Which The RBI Is Looking For At Opening Up For Competition To Reduce The Single Point Failure Risk. MasterCard Is One Of The Largest Providers Of Automated Clearing House Services And Is Building An Asia-Pacific Hub In Singapore And Is Looking To Provide Similar Services In India." Just As We Are Digesting The Notification From The RBI, We Are Increasing Our Capability In India," Sarker Said.

He Said That The New Areas Including Providing Service Layers On Top Of Payment Solutions That Will Address Pain Points Or Micro-merchants And Micro-SMEs. Instead Of Merely Enabling Payments, It Will Also Facilitate Analytics And Help Small Merchants Avail Credit From Banks.

MasterCard Is Already Doing High-end Technology Development Locally." We Have A Mobile Center Of Excellence, Our Artificial Intelligence-based Analytics Capability And We Are Also Working On Cyber Security Issues From Here," Sarker Said. MasterCard Labs - The R&D Arm Based In Pune - Works With Several Startups. In The Last One Year, MasterCard Decided To Shift Focus To Smaller, Newer Companies And Provide Them Access And Funding Between $ 250,000 To $ 2 Million. The Payments Company Has Invested In Startups Like Tone Tag And FTcash, And Has Recently Concluded An Investment In A Company Called Signzy." We Are Not Only Investing In Fintechs And Providing Themed Technology, We Are Also Taking Them To Our Global Markets," Said Sarker.

On Delaying Card Payments After A Peak In Demonetization, Sarker Said," Historically, Cash Was At About 12% Of The GDP. While Money Is Back, As A Percentage GDP , It Is About 10.5%. So I Think There Has Clearly Been A Momentum Shift To Digital, And Demonetization Has Added That Impetus," He Said.

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