Japanese credit card issuer JCB launches debit cards through 8 Indian banks

23, Jul. 2019


NEW DELHI, NNA - Japanese credit card issuer JCB Co. has tied up with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch co-branded international debit cards in India to serve the needs of outbound Indian travelers, including visitors to Japan, who are expected to increase in number due to the economic growth of the South Asian country.

The cards, named “RuPay JCB Global Cards,” will be issued by eight banks in India, including the State Bank of India (SBI), and can be used in India at points that accept NPCI’s “RuPay” electronic payments, while they will also serve as JCB cards outside India, JCB and NPCI said at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Monday.

“The number of cards issued in India may possibly outnumber in the near future the 18 million (JCB-brand) cards issued in China,” said Kimihisa Imada, president of JCB International Credit Co., a JCB subsidiary specializing in international operations.

The RuPay service is adopted by more than 400 banks in India and a cumulative total of 585 million RuPay cards have been issued. Initially, JCB and NPCI will issue RuPay JCB Global Cards through eight Indian banks: the SBI, Axis Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank, City Union Bank, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank and Central Bank of India.

“By issuing JCB cards, we may be able to enrich the client experience of Indian overseas travelers,” said Ichiro Hamakawa, chairman and CEO of JCB Co., at the press conference. NPCI non-executive chairman Biswamohan Mahapatra noted that NPCI and JCB formed a strategic partnership in 2015, and in 2017 JCB cards started to be accepted at automatic teller machines and point-of-sale terminals in India. He added that with the RuPay JCB Global Card launch Indian travelers can use JCB cards in more than 200 countries. The new product will be NPCI’s second co-branded card with an overseas company following the U.S. Discover Card.

JCBI President Imada noted that the points of departure for the swelling number of Asian tourists to Japan have been shifting from East Asia and Southeast Asia to South Asia. “For example, the number of Thai visitors to Japan exceeded one million last year,” he said. “I expect the number of Japan-bound Indian visitors to increase similarly.”

In South Asia, JCB has been also issuing cards in Bangladesh and Pakistan. Imada said JCB cards are due to be issued in Sri Lanka this year.