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India’s Mastercard ban is ‘draconian’, US trade official comments.

Reserve bank of India banned Mastercard Inc. from issuing new cards, in July. According to the US government emails, RBI’s decision was called ‘draconian’ by a senior trade official, says Reuters. The decision caused frustration within the US government. India’s central bank has banned new cards from American Express and Diners Club international in April. The Mastercard ban was implemented in July.

The Reserve Bank of India accuses all of these companies of violation of local data-storage regulations. The ban of Mastercard has triggered a series of emails between India and US officials in Washinton. Mastercard is a leading payment network in India alongside Visa.

On July 16th, the deputy assistant US trade representative for South and Central Asia, Brendan A. Lynch, wrote to RBI that they had started hearing from the stakeholders about the draconian decisions that RBI has taken in the past couple days. He asked his colleagues in India to get in touch with the RBI officials to see what was going on. The comments were made privately through emails and US government has not publicly criticised the Mastercard ban.

The Mastercard spokesman said that they have had very constructive engagements with Indian and US governments over the last few weeks and appreciated the support showed by both the governments. Mastercard Inc. looks forward to resolve the situation as soon as possible.


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