Innovation Governance Competition: Payment Modernization Strategies in India and China
21 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2015 Last revised: 16 Jun 2015
Date Written: January 18, 2015
After decades of trade liberalization and ever greater integration of domestic economies into global markets, actors in both public and private sectors recognize the importance of innovation as a source of global comparative advantage. At the same time that governments in advanced market economies compete to foster innovation ecosystems within their domestic economies, private enterprises are complicating governments’ calculations by spawning new private global governance institutions. Payment card networks such as Visa and MasterCard are examples of global private regulators that can leverage their power in global markets to challenge the authority of local regulators. Public regulators in advanced market economies have used a variety of policy instruments to try to reassert their control over card networks, with only modest results. Both China and India have recently launched aggressive payment system modernization strategies as part of their national economic development plans. As part of those payment system modernization strategies, China launched China UnionPay in 2002, and by 2014, China UnionPay had become the second largest card network in the world, ahead of MasterCard and behind Visa. India is pursuing a more complex, standards-based payment system modernization strategy, and launched the RuPay card network in 2010 as part of its financial inclusion strategy. China and India have simply sidestepped the problem of how to control platform operators with de facto regulatory powers by launching competing national card networks to promote local economic development and block the local influence of global card networks at the same time.
Keywords: trade liberalization, global market, domestic economy, market economies, global governance, payment card networks, payment system modernization
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