Difference between RuPay, Mastercard, and VISA Card

In the world of digital transactions and card-based currency, one question emerges as a beacon of curiosity What sets apart the trio of RuPay, Mastercard, and VISA cards?

India is dominated by RuPay, Mastercard, and VISA cards but out of these all Rupay card is one of the most used cards.

While Mastercard and VISA, hail from the United States, Rupay is a home brand that is also a leading card option for Indians.

In this article, we will discuss what is the difference between Rupay, Mastercard, and VISA card. But first, let’s find out What is Payment Network Card and much more.

Difference between RuPay, Mastercard, and VISA Card

What is a Payment Network Card?

A Payment Network Card is a financial instrument that facilitates electronic transactions between consumers, merchants, and financial institutions.

It acts as a bridge between the exchange of funds, allowing individuals to make purchases, withdraw cash, or perform other financial transactions without the need for physical currency.

These cards are linked to banks, which serve as the underlying infrastructure that enables the seamless transfer of funds.

When a payment network card is used, the network verifies the transaction, authorizes the payment, and facilitates the transfer of funds from the cardholder’s account to the merchant’s account.

The card itself may come in various forms, such as credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, or specialized cards like travel cards.

How Does Payment Network Work?

A Payment Network Card operates through a complex yet seamless process that involves multiple entities and steps to facilitate electronic transactions.

Here’s a breakdown of how a payment network card works:

Card Issuance

A financial institution, such as a bank or NBFCs, issues a payment network card to an individual. The cardholder’s information, including their name, card number, expiration date, and security code, is encoded onto the card’s magnetic stripe or chip.

Cardholder’s Account

The card is linked to the cardholder’s bank account, either as a debit card connected to a savings account or as a credit card with a credit limit.

Merchant Transaction

When the cardholder purchases from a merchant, they present their card. The merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) terminal reads the card’s information.

Authorization Request

The merchant’s POS terminal sends an authorization request to the payment processor, which then forwards the request to the cardholder’s bank through the payment network.

Bank Verification

The cardholder’s bank verifies whether the transaction can be approved based on the available funds (in the case of debit cards) or credit limit (in the case of credit cards).

Authorization Response

The cardholder’s bank sends an authorization response back through the payment network, indicating whether the transaction is approved or declined.

Transaction Completion

If the transaction is approved, the merchant’s POS terminal generates a receipt for the cardholder’s PIN entry.

Settlement Process

At the end of the business day, the merchant batches the approved transactions and sends them to their acquiring bank, which, in turn, sends them to the payment processor.

Funds Transfer

The payment processor processes the transactions and transfers the funds from the cardholder’s bank to the merchant’s bank.

Comparison Between VISA/Mastercard & Rupay

The following is a detailed comparison between VISA/Mastercard & Rupay-

Origin and BackgroundInternational payment networksIndigenous card payment network in India
Acceptance NetworkGlobally acceptedWidely accepted within India
CoverageExtensive network of merchants worldwideFocus on acceptance within India
International AcceptanceAccepted in numerous countries globallyLimited international acceptance
Cost-effectivenessGenerally higher feesCost-effective and affordable
Card VariantsVarious card types and offeringsVariants available for different needs
Additional Features and BenefitsRewards programs, perks, and benefitsSpecial features and tie-ups
Rural and Semi-Urban PenetrationRelatively lowerIncreased focus and penetration
AvailabilityWidely availableAvailability in specific regions
AccessibilityEasy access for international travelMainly suited for domestic use


Are VISA/Mastercard accepted in India?

Yes, both VISA and Mastercard are widely accepted in India. These international card networks have a strong presence and are recognized by a vast number of merchants, making them convenient options for domestic transactions as well as international.

Can I use RuPay cards for international transactions?

Yes, RuPay cards have gained acceptance for international transactions as well. Many countries and international payment aggregators accept the RuPay debit and Credit card for transactions.

Which card network is more cost-effective?

RuPay cards often offer cost-effective options due to their association with domestic banks and financial institutions. They have lower transaction fees compared to international counterparts like VISA and Mastercard.

Can I use RuPay cards for online shopping?

Yes, RuPay cards can be used for online shopping. Many e-commerce platforms and websites accept RuPay cards as a mode of payment, enabling cardholders to make secure online purchases.

Are VISA/Mastercard more widely available compared to RuPay?

VISA and Mastercard, being global card networks, have established extensive networks and partnerships worldwide.credit