Visa and Indian paytech Innoviti have partnered to explore a proof of concept (POC) for offline payments in India.
The POC has been executed by Innoviti — India’s largest provider of payment solutions for offline merchants — in Bengaluru with Yes Bank and Axis Bank.
Offline payments technology serves to extend the reach of digital payments into rural and remote areas of India where internet is patchy or unavailable.
The need for last-mile internet connectivity for debit, credit and prepaid cards is something the offline paytech initiative is hoping to address, particularly for micro-payments.
The chip in Visa’s new debit card, which it claims is the first of its kind, will have a daily spend limit of INR 2,000 ($27) and have a per transaction limit of INR 200 — limits mandated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The two firms say merchants and users alike stand to gain from the reduced friction, while an insufficient balance will result in the transaction being declined, lowering the risk of payment failures.
Innoviti is India’s largest payment solutions provider, processing $10 billion of offline merchant payments a year, 6% of India’s offline merchant volume, according to the RBI.
It also leverages paytech to turn transactions into customer acquisition and retention tools for merchants, bank, and brands through a common platform.
Visa group country manager for India and South Asia, T R Ramachandran, says: “With the RBI’s cognizance of low and no connectivity being major impediments to financial inclusion, offline payments have emerged as an innovative and low-cost solution, where internet connectivity and failed transactions are top concerns of consumers and merchants.”
Innoviti managing director and CEO, Rajeev Agrawal, adds: “Lack of Internet connectivity has limited the democratisation of digital payment acceptance in the country, as all existing payment technologies need real-time connectivity for authentication and authorisation.
“Transaction failures arising from low quality connectivity impact consumer and merchant confidence, further impeding digital payment acceptance.”
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