The financial giant has announced that it has issued over one million of its contactless cards in the country.
Visa recently announced the issuing of over one million of its branded contactless cards in India. These were all issued through eight major banks within the country. These cards function on the same technology as contactless Visa mobile payments.
The widespread use of these cards is opening the door for easier mobile payments to be rapidly adopted.
There are over 100,000 merchant locations in India that are now set up to accept Visa mobile payments. The reason is that they have the readers necessary for the contactless cards, which use the same technology. The tech in question is near field communication (NFC) technology. These are now accepted at restaurants, retailers, supermarkets and entertainment venues.
That said, it’s important to point out that 1 million cards still represents a small percentage of the total in India. This is a massive country. Therefore, the new Visa mobile payments milestone actually means that they account for only 5 percent of the total. There are an estimated 21 million payment cards currently in use among Indian consumers.
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This NFC reader infrastructure is paving the way for a smooth and seamless adoption of Visa mobile payments.
That infrastructure is extremely important in a country like India. The reason is that Indians are in a phase during which they are gaining access to banking services for the first time. In 2011, only 35 percent of Indian consumers were banked. Last year, that figure rose to 53 percent. Mobile phones have played a massive role in banking service access. Consumers use their smartphones to open accounts for the first time.
Visa predicts that broadening the use of contactless payments will act as a natural transition to banking over mobile devices. Smartphones, wearable technology and even stickers could soon become commonplace as methods of completing transactions. Furthermore, this could play an important role in increasing financial inclusion by opening services to whole new segments of the population.
Among them are people who have smartphones but no accounts. Visa mobile payments are seeking the opportunity to appeal to that specific market.