Asia Paytech Trending

Japan’s JCB Becomes Interwoven With India’s Digital Economy Amid One Million RuPay Card Issuance

One million people across India now use a RuPay JCB card as the Japanese payment brand continues to define its presence in the Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Japan’s only international payment brand, JCB Co, is seeing success within the Indian banking market as one million users adopt its RuPay JCB card.

RuPay is an Indian payments network and has been at the heart of JCB’s operations in the country. The RuPay JCB cards first appeared in India in 2019, when the Japanese company came together with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and local banks to issue the card.

The issuance allowed cardholders to use their RuPay cards at accepting points in India and JCB cards at accepting points outside India for both point-of-sale (POS) transactions and ATMs.

State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank, City Union Bank and TJSB Bank are among the 12 public and private sector banks to work with the NPCI and JCB to see the issuance through.

Now four years later, JCB’s ambitions of extending its payment services across India and the wider APAC region are passing the one million user milestone.

Reflecting on this, Yoshiki Kaneko, president and COO of JCB International Co, said: “We’re very proud of our strategic partnership with NPCI. This first million Rupay JCB issuance milestone is a testament to the strength of our partnership which will continue to grow in the coming years.

India’s appetite for digital payments

Being one of the worst-hit countries during the covid-19 pandemic, India continues to build itself back to higher than ever despite the economic aftershock.

Incorporated in 2008, the NPCI has played an integral role in guiding India’s way to digital payments. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) launched NPCI to build a strong payment and settlement infrastructure in India.

The focus of this infrastructure is largely on the accessibility and capabilities of India’s retail payment systems, and aside from the RuPay JCB card, the NPCI’s retail payment products include its immediate payment service (IMPS), its unified payments interface (UPI) and the Bharat interface for money (BHIM); among others.

Indian citizens’ increasing travel and spending abroad has prompted the NPCI to improve the way it facilitates international payments. This is particularly evident in its collaboration with international payment companies like JCB.

The growth of the digital economy

Reports showed a three-fold increase in card issuance and a significant growth in the usage of RuPay JCB cards, with international spending rising eight-fold between April and December 2022.

This growth has been driven by a 70 per cent jump in the number of card users in India between Q4’21 and Q2’22, as per the JCB report, and while India is projected to have the third-largest number of high-income households by 2030, it is also set to contribute $1.8trillion to global consumption growth.

And where JCB and especially the NPCI are concerned, the country’s e-commerce sector is on course to surpass a value of $200billion by 2026, while outbound tourism will be worth $42billion by 2024. India’s citizens are therefore welcoming of services that allow them to take their money with them wherever they go; be it online or out of office.

“India is a key market for JCB with huge potential given the aspirational young and vibrant base of consumers who especially enjoy international travel and new experiences,” Kaneko continues. “We are confident the feature-rich RuPay JCB Card will be well enjoyed outside India.”

“We will continue to focus on and invest in growing the India business through our esteemed partner, NPCI, to ensure that our issuing partners always have access to the best-in-class technology to create path-breaking products.”

One to watch

This latest announcement from JCB International presents a glimpse into the workings of its mother company’s international strategy and confirms that this strategy appears to be working.

The company finished last year by announcing a similar card programme in the Philippines with the  EastWest Banking Corporation, with the move being likened at the time to its work with Vietnam’s Viet Capital Bank the year previous.

Yet the payment company has resisted limiting itself to its native region and has more recently announced its work with the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) to enable JCB payment acceptance at the bank’s POS and e-commerce merchants in the Kingdom.

Likewise, the company also expanded its existing partnership with Concardis, as part of the Nets/Nexi Group, one of Europe’s leading paytech providers, last year to enable JCB contactless acceptance for several thousand merchants in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

Related posts

Bank Passporting is a cornerstone of the financial services sector

Manisha Patel

Bunq enables users to become CO2 free in less than 2 years 

Manisha Patel

Visa and M2P Fintech Make it Easier to Issue Payment Products to ‘Resolve Fintech’s Pain Points’

The Fintech Times