Visa cuts debit fees in India to spur small-business card acceptance

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Visa has moved to cut its debit transaction fees in India by 95%, bringing it more in line with RuPay, India’s state-run domestic debit scheme.

Beginning July 1, the fees Visa charges banks issuing its debit cards will drop to a fraction of a rupee, with the biggest effect on transactions under 2000 Rs (US$29), according to a report in the Economic Times of India.

Nearly all of India’s card transactions, approximately 96%, are debit with a total circulation of 861 million debit cards, the report suggests. Visa has about a 40% share of all card transactions in India, where the government is encouraging a shift away from cash.

India's government abruptly devalued its small-denomination currency in late 2016 to shock users away from their heavy dependence on cash. Observers say the goal of Visa’s move is to get more small businesses in India to accept cards by making small-value transactions essentially free.

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