What Are Card Networks?

What Are Card Networks?

17 October, 2023

A card network connects your bank, merchants, and you to make the transaction possible in a secure, smooth, and efficient way. Card networks work silently in the background when you swipe or tap your card to make a payment. There are currently five authorised card networks in India—RuPay, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club. In this article, you can get information on Credit Card networks, how they work and the types.

Understanding Card Networks

Card networks were developed to utilise one mode of payment to pay for goods and services at multiple merchants and avoid carrying cash around.

When you swipe or tap your card at a merchant’s POS machine, the card network links the acquiring bank of the merchant with the issuing bank of the customer to verify that the card details are legitimate, and the customer has enough balance in the card to make the payment.

Here, the issuing bank is the financial institution that issues the card to the customer. The acquiring bank is a financial institution that communicates with the issuing bank and the merchant to make the transaction possible.

The issuing bank then sends the money to the acquiring bank, which notifies the merchant about the successful payment status. If the payment fails, both the customer and the merchant are notified.

How Does Card Issuer Differ From A Card Network?

Consider this, HDFC Bank offers a wide range of Debit & Credit Cards, so HDFC Bank is a card issuer or card issuing bank. If the HDFC Bank Millennia Credit Card has a Diners Club logo on it, then the card network is Diners Club.

Card Networks in India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has authorised the following card networks to operate in the country:

  • Visa

    The Visa card network includes Debit Cards, Credit Cards, Prepaid Cards, and gift cards. Visa cards are issued by banks that are partner financial institutions of Visa Inc.

    With more than 200 countries and locations around the world, Visa card network has a wide acceptance range. Visa partners with different merchants through various types of service agreements; a transaction fee is applicable on each payment made by the customer using a Visa card and the merchant has to pay Visa Inc.

    Millennia Debit Card and Regalia ForexPlus Card are some examples of Visa cards available at HDFC Bank.

  • MasterCard

    MasterCard offers different types of cards to make a successful transaction and conduct all transaction communications. MasterCard services include Credit Cards, Prepaid Cards, and Debit Cards.

    Some of the examples of HDFC Cards from MasterCard network include Regalia Gold Credit Card, Time Points Debit Card, and Millennia Prepaid Card.

  • RuPay

    A Credit and Debit Card payment network launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), RuPay has a wide acceptance at POS devices, ATMs, and e-commerce websites all across India.

    RuPay, derived from Rupee and Payment, is a highly secure card network that promotes cashless economy. RuPay Credit Cards also are enabled for Unified Payment Interface (UPI).

    You can apply for the HDFC Bank UPI RuPay Credit Card online and avail up to 50 days of interest free period.

  • Diners Club International

    Diners Club International Ltd is a direct banking and payment services company. It is owned by Discover Financial Services. The card network provides a range of payment options. The network has partnered with leading merchants, service-industry brands and restaurants across the globe. This way, you can get access to an array of exclusive offers and benefits with various transactions.

    For instance, the Diners Club Black Credit Card from HDFC Bank is a premium card that offers benefits like complimentary Club Marriott, Amazon Prime, etc., memberships, 10X reward points with certain transactions, exciting travel benefits and more.

  • American Express

    The American Express card network, also known as Amex, is an RBI-recognised card network. The card network typically issues their own card. All transactions are processed and managed by the company.

Recent Update on Card Networks

Issuing banks typically dominate the choice of card networks for their customers while providing a Debit or Credit Card and the customers had little choice in the matter. RBI has enabled eligible customers to choose their preferred card network, either when they apply for a new card or at a later date, per their convenience; this change is effective from 1st October 2023.

Wrapping Up

As the Indian economy is being digitised rapidly, the need for cashless payment methods is on the rise. There are numerous card networks that offer additional rewards to their users, which depends on the tie up between the card network and the issuing bank. With convenient facilities like NetBanking and Mobile Banking, HDFC Bank provides you an easy way to manage your cards. Open a bank account with HDFC Bank today to enjoy exclusive Debit Cards. You can check your Credit Card eligibility here.

*Terms and conditions apply. The information provided in this article is generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. Credit Card approvals at the sole discretion of HDFC Bank Limited. Credit Card approvals is subject to documentation and verification as per Bank's requirement. Interest rates are subject to change. Please check with your RM or closest bank branch for current interest rates.

You can check your Credit Card eligibility here.

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