Visa crosses 20 million contactless cards in India


Over 1 million acceptance terminals for Visa contactless cards enabled


Visa (NYSE: V), the global leader in payments technology, today announced that over 20 million1 Visa contactless cards have now been issued in India, since the launch of its first contactless card in 2015. Continuing its push for contactless payments in India, Visa also revealed that the acceptance infrastructure for such cards has crossed one million terminals2 across the country.

“In a little over three years, along with our clients, we have been able to promote the benefits of contactless cards to over 20 million consumers across India. Besides the significant push in building awareness, we have helped expand India’s contactless acceptance infrastructure to over one million points. Across the world, contactless cards have proven to be a significant catalyst in improving consumer stickiness for digital payments and we expect India to be amongst its biggest adopters in months to come,” said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager for Visa in India & South Asia.

Over 3.33 million merchants in India now accept cashless payments through multiple payment options. Contactless card payments help realize the government’s vision of Digital India, of which digital payments is a prime focus area. The government’s push towards digital payments was further strengthened with a directive in July 2018 to consider adding NFC (contactless) capabilities, in addition to the EMV chip feature, for all cards being upgraded as part of the RBI mandate to replace all existing magstripe cards by December 2018.

Contactless cards make the payment experience smooth, considerably shortening checkout time from close to a minute to just a few seconds. Consumers get the convenience of simply tapping and paying for transactions, whether at large retail outlets, the neighbourhood grocery or their favourite cinema.

 “With 20 million contactless cards powered by Visa today in India, we have reached critical mass, adding to the building blocks of the cashless payments infrastructure of the country. Thanks to the government’s push towards enabling contactless payments, we expect this number to significantly increase in the months to come,” adds Ramachandran. Globally, over 1.5 billion contactless payment cards are expected to be issued by the end of 2018 and will account for 50% of all payment cards shipped4.

Across the world, contactless payments are hugely popular in mass transit use cases such as metros, trains and ferries. Cities such as London, Vancouver and Sydney already boast of contactless card acceptance across their mass transit systems while global cities such as Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Helsinki and Rome are in the midst of upgrading to contactless payments. With a slew of transit projects including metros coming up across the country, Indian contactless cardholders could soon benefit from an interoperable and seamless payment experience while on the go.

For debit transactions up to INR 2,000, Visa contactless cardholders can just tap to pay, without having to enter a PIN or sign transaction receipts. With more and more banks currently issuing contactless cards, Indian consumers are now experiencing a new and faster way to pay at supermarkets, dining, entertainment venues and retailers such as Big Bazaar, Reliance Retail, PVR, Vishal Mega Mart, etc.

Visa contactless payment cards have an embedded antenna and microchip, enabling "contactless" communication with a card reader at checkout. Cardholders can simply tap or wave the card over a secure reader. The transaction is then processed through Visa’s global, secure network, VisaNet, which processes all Visa transactions.

With more than 1 billion debit and credit payment cards in circulation in the country today, Visa firmly believes that there is tremendous opportunity to shift consumers to contactless payment cards for small ticket transactions, in turn improving stickiness for digital payments.


1Cards issued data sourced through partner clients as of October 2018

2Merchant POS terminals enabled to accept EMV contactless payments sourced through partner clients

3RBI monthly data on ATM, POS and Card Statistics – Aug 2018 (Link)

4Contactless Payment Cards Forecast to Account for over 50% of all Cards Delivered Globally in 2018 – ABI research - 3rd Oct 2018 (Link)


About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit  About Visa, and @VisaNews