How the Mastercard ban affects Indian online casinos

Recently, in a press release on the 14th of July 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that Mastercard Asia / Pacific Pte. Ltd had not complied with RBI’s data storage rules. Due to this RBI has decided to ban Mastercard from onboarding new Indian customers as of 22nd of July 2021.

This means that new debit, credit or prepaid cards won’t be issued, regardless if it is Mastercard, Maestro or Cirrus.

Fortunately, this ban will not affect current customers and their existing cards. But with that said, cards does have an expiry and new customers or cards won’t be able to circulate.

This is not the first time RBI has taken action against non-compliant card issuing companies. On April 23 2021 RBI took the same actions against American Express Banking Corp. and Diners Club International Ltd.

Will Visa and RuPay take over the card scheme scene in India?

Visa is one of the first global players to follow RBI’s data storage rules. They will for sure take advantage of being compliant and go into business with banks to issue new debit and credit cards to new customers.

The Indian financial service company RuPay will become a bigger player because of the recent news. RuPay has a big presence in India and has taken a large market share since its launch in March 2012.

  • Although Visa and Rupay have a smoother way forward, the battle has only begun. Who will win the war is yet to be seen.

India is a big market and Mastercard still has a big presence that they don’t want to lose. Mastercard will for sure want to be in this for the long run and make sure they are compliant. We’ll have to see if Amex and Diners will follow suit as well.

What does the Mastercard ban mean for Indian casino players online?

The two biggest international card schemes online casino use is Visa and Mastercard. The majority of Indian casino players usually deposits with Net Banking or UPI. But high rolling casino players tend to use cards since there are fewer limitations on how much you can deposit.

Mastercard and Visa are the most common cards used online in Indian casinos to date. If Mastercard doesn’t find its feet in the Indian market we will see both Visa and RuPay gaining more ground in the online casinos. Though it’s not too common to see RuPay in many online casinos, only the casinos targeted towards Indian players will have RuPay.

  • In the short term, it’s business as “usual” for most Indian players.
  • In the medium term, the Indian online casinos make themselves ready to support alternative solutions. Casinos need to ensure they have RuPay, Paytm, UPI and Net Banking available at all times. Although it doesn’t help players that only use Mastercard, it will close the gap a little bit,
  • If Mastercard isn’t compliant with RBI in the long term it will hurt an important chunk of players. Indian players will have to find international banks and solutions that can issue Mastercard cards. Popular wallet apps like Revolut, MuchBetter, Skrill land Neteller can issue international Mastercards.

Paying or/and playing with cryptocurrencies is also an alternative. Only a handful of online casinos offer crypto as a purchasing option today. But more casinos are embracing the crypto movement. The most common cryptocurrencies at online casinos are BTC, LTC, ETH and XRP.

One thing is for sure, Indian casino players or consumers of any products or services want the freedom to choose where to use their money. Fewer international card methods for the Indian population will mean fewer companies to choose among. This will affect many Indian people in their choice of products, services or entertainment.

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