Payments company Mastercard said it would invest an additional $1 billion in India, nearly a third of which will go towards building a payments processing node that goes beyond its commitment to the Reserve Bank of India on storing data in the country. This is in addition to the $1 billion the US giant has already pumped into India in the last five years, a large part of which is for providing technology and back office support to global operations.
Mastercard co-president (Asia-Pacific) Ari Sarker said in the last five years, the company has made a fundamental shift in its presence in India. “From 30-odd people in essentially a sales and distribution organisation, we have grown to over 2,000 people here, representing 14% of our global workforce. We have technology centres in Vadodara, Pune and Gurgaon,” he said.
For Mastercard, India is not just about having more of its cards or having more swipe machines. It is also a market where it can deploy its financial infrastructure capability, something which the RBI is looking at opening up for competition to reduce the ‘single-point failure’ risk. Mastercard is one of the largest providers of automated clearing house services and is building an Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore and is looking to provide similar services in India. “Even as we are digesting the notification from the RBI, we are increasing our capability in India,” said Sarker.