Mastercard to invest $1 bn in India, plans to make country global tech node

MasterCard credit cards are seen in this illustrative photograph. | Photo: Reuters

Global card payments major Mastercard Monday said it will invest USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,000 crore) in India in the next five years and plans to make the country a global technology node for its platforms.

The company has already invested USD 1 billion in the Indian market in the last five years.

"Over the last five years, we invested about USD 1 billion in India. Given our increasing confidence in the Indian economy, where it is likely to be over the coming decade, we are stepping up on our investment commitment in India. We are committing another USD 1 billion into India (for next five years)," Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said in an interaction here.

The most crucial thing about this investment is that Mastercard is building India as a global technology node for its global platforms, he said.

This investment will help foster innovation and increase Mastercard's speed-to-market capabilities and value-added services.

"What we mean by that is as a payments network we are a global network. All our transactions traverse towards a global network where the technology centres are in the US. And now India is going to become the first country outside of the United States which will have a global technology node," he said.

Building the India technology node will mean that company's processing services, authentication services, tokenisation services and all other service layers that ride around the card payment industry will have an India presence.

"This is going to be great for us, not only for the India market. This is going to give us the ability that how we can use the India global node for any other country's traffic as we balance our global network and presence," Sarker further said.

Of the USD 1 billion investment, over USD 300 million will be used to develop the India technology node.

The rest of the investment will go towards existing services and expanding capacity among others, Sarker said.

"We are also going to expand our existing capabilities and do more. We are also looking at partnerships, investment opportunities in a more significant way for India. We also think India's fintech growth is extremely exciting," he said.

In India, cards continue to be the most preferred means of digital payment.

There were as many as 990.6 million cards (46 million credit cards and 945 million debit cards) at the end of February 2019, according to RBI data.