Retailers in India say they would be more
willing to accept debit card payments if interchange fees on
transactions were reduced.

According to a local media report, the Retail
Association of India has called for debit interchange in India –
one of the highest fees of its kind in the world – to be

High margins and increasing volumes in India’s
payments industry have put the country in the spotlight of the
international payments industry. The retailer fight-back is the
first sign foreign investors into the country, notably Visa,
MasterCard and most recently, processor Atos Origin, may not have
it all their own way.

Interchange charged in India on credit and
debit cards average around 1.1 percent.

The number of debit cards in India is 181.9m
and growing at around 32 percent a year according to a country
survey in CI’s sister publication Electronic Payments

These growth rates mean India is already one
of the most expensive places to buy payments businesses, evidenced
by Atos Origin’s recent acquisition of Venture Infotek. Atos paid a
reported $100 million for the business, which had revenues of just
€30 million, albeit growing at 25 percent per year.

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If the retailers get their way, the premiums
for acquiring Indian payments businesses could start to look even