RBI rationalises MDR to woo small merchants accept cards

RBI rationalises MDR to woo small merchants accept cards

For transaction value up to Rs 2000, the RBI had decided in 2012 that charges would not exceed 0.75 percent of the of the total transaction amount for debit card payments.

"With a view to giving further fillip to acceptance of debit card payments for purchase of goods and services across a wider network of merchants, it has been chose to rationalise the framework for Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) applicable on debit card transactions based on the category of merchants", a statement issued by RBI said. MDR is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via credit or debit cards every time a card is used for payments in their stores.

It further explained, "The revised MDR aims at achieving the twin objectives of increased usage of debit cards and ensuring sustainability of the business for the entities involved".

The fee for merchants with turnover up to Rs 20 lakh in the last financial year, is capped at 0.4% for transactions via PoS terminals or online while if transaction is via QR code-based card acceptance infrastructure, the fee is capped at 0.3%.

In case of QR-based transactions, charges are set to not exceed 0.80 percent of the total transaction with an upper cap of Rs 1000 per transaction. Merchant discount rate is the fee charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card payment services.

At present, MDR for debit card transactions were capped at 0.75% of the transaction amount for value upto Rs 2000 and 1% of transaction amount for value above Rs 2000.

The new rules, which are expected to be issued later in the day, will focus on categorising merchants in such a way that debit card usage at small merchants improves, Kanungo told reporters at the customary post-policy presser. The data also showed that while 5450 million card transactions were undertaken at the end of 2017 its value stood at Rs 7421 billion. Regardless of the value of the transaction, the MDR for such merchants cannot exceed Rs 200 per transaction.

Earlier in the month of February, the RBI had circulated a draft of MDR seeking public comments and views over it.

Following the demonetisation drive previous year, when currency of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination was withdrawn from circulation, MDR was further reduced for transactions up to Rs 1000, to 0.25% of the transaction value.

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