Global payments giant Mastercard plans to invest $1 billion in its India operations over the next five years, a top company executive, and about $350 million of that would go into setting up a local payments processing centre in keeping with the Reserve Bank of India’s mandate to store all payments data locally.
The processing centre, which is expected to open in the next 18 months and create employment for an additional 1,000 people, will be Mastercard’s first outside of the United States, and could service markets including Southeast Asia and maybe Apac as well.
“This isn’t just a basic node that does authorisation and processing — we will bring in many other value-added services,” said Porush Singh, division president for south Asia, Mastercard. “These capabilities will keep evolving over time and we will look at other markets we can service out of here.”
The centre, most likely to come up in Pune, is expected to handle tasks including circuit switching for ATMs, prepaid, Point of Sale, and ecommerce transactions. It will also offer all associated services such as fraud mitigation, tokenisation and authentication, the company said.
Mastercard was banking on partnerships and startups that it is working with in the country to expand into neighbouring regions to help drive international workload to the country, Singh said.
Mastercard is expected to invest the remaining amount to grow locally and to expand the team that services its overseas operations. Singh did not specify the employment that the investment would generate since it would depend on how digital payments would scale up in India. “We’re going to be investing in both technology and people and already have centres in Gurugram, Vadodara and Pune,” Singh said. “Because of the kind of capabilities we are deploying, this time, a large chunk of that value is going to be in India itself, and that’s why we’re looking at how we can deploy it across multiple markets in the region.”
Mastercard’s five-year investment plan that spans to 2024 comes after the payments major pumped in close to ₹6,500 crore and grew its team here from 30 to around 2,000 in the previous five years. Today, India is Mastercard’s second-largest location globally in terms of the size of its workforce after the US.