Mastercard lodged US protest over Modi's RuPay promotion

Modi has publicly endorsed the indigenous card payment network, saying using RuPay was like serving the country as its transaction fee stays within India and could help build roads, schools and hospitals.

The previously unreported note, which was seen by Reuters, shows the extent to which Modi's support for RuPay frustrated the Purchase, New York-based company, which is the world's second-largest payments processor.

“Increasing rhetoric from the prime minister and government mandates on promotion and preference for RuPay ... continues to create market access issues for US payments technology companies,” Mastercard said in the note.

Mastercard, whose president and chief executive is India-born Ajay Banga, has a planned investment outlay of $1 billion in its key Indian market for 2014-2019.

The company recruited a Bollywood actor this year for a campaign aimed at encouraging consumers in smaller cities to use debit cards more regularly as it seeks to grow in India.

In November 2016, Modi started promoting the use of digital payments after replacing high-value currency notes in an attempt to crack down on the black economy.

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