The global leader in payment technology, Mastercard, yesterday announced that it will invest $1 Bn in India over the course of the next five years.
Out of the stipulated amount, Mastercard will be building its first data processing centre outside the US, in India. The centre will cost around $350 Mn. The centre, which is in accordance with the Indian government’s data localisation policy, will be fully functional in the next 18 months. The company claims the centre will provide employment to 1,000 people.
“Till now, all processing related services were provided from the US centre. But as more and more services that are not card-or brand-related emerge, we see an opportunity to build a (data) processing centre in India. The opportunity in India is indisputable. The tectonic growth we have seen in digital payments post demonetisation, shows we have just started out on the journey,” Porush Singh, division president, South Asia was quoted as saying in Quartz.
A services hub will also be set up to focus on developing and delivering other value-added services such as authentication, tokenization, cybersecurity and intelligence solutions and data analytics. Mastercard has grown from a 29 member team in 2013 to a 2,000 person strong workforce today in India, representing 14% of Mastercard’s global workforce.
Digital transactions in India are slated to touch $1 Tn by the year 2025, a white paper by ACI Worldwide along with AGS Transact Technologies showed. At the same time, the user base for digital transactions is also rapidly growing with increased digitisation and mobile phone penetration. Mastercard plans to digitally enable 10 Mn merchants by 2020 up from the 5.2 Mn merchants on its roster currently.
Mastercard has also been actively investing in the Indian startup ecosystem with a portfolio of several investments in its kitty. The company has a global Start Path programme which enables later-stage tech startups to scale up quickly. Through the programme, Mastercard has supported a range of startups working in the fintech sector to better streamline online transactions. Razorpay, a fintech startup, collaborated with Mastercard in 2016 to speed up the adoption of online and mobile payments among small businesses in India.
In 2018, Zeta became the first Indian startup selected under Mastercard’s Global Incubator. Zeta is a fintech company engaged in the sector of tax-saving. Some of the other startups which Mastercard has collaborated with are ftcash, ToneTag and Syntizen.