B2B Payments

MasterCard Goes For India's Corporate Prepaid Market

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MasterCard has collaborated with the State Bank of India (SBI) to launch a commercial card solution aimed at a certain niche of the market.

Reports on Tuesday (June 14) said the bank and the credit card company are working with prepaid travel card distributor Centrum to provide corporate prepaid cards that support multiple currencies, a solution that will be targeted at corporate travelers.

"The bank is excited as this has been the first-ever alliance SBI has entered into to supplement their distribution reach, which is already very deep in the consumer segment," said Manju Agarwal, SBI's deputy managing director of corporate strategy and new business. "The partnership with Centrum will help the bank to serve the corporate segment in a focused and more personalized manner."

Agarwal added that the first phase of the prepaid card program will roll out among select branches in the country and progress will be based on the performance of these initial launches.

According to MasterCard Executive Director of South Asia Operations Vikas Varma, the decision to launch a prepaid travel card for corporate users in India is the direct result of market trends.

"Outbound travel from India has witnessed a steep surge over the past few years, with DGCA [the Directorate General of Civil Aviation] findings stating that outbound travel is slated to grow to 50 million travelers by 2020 from 17.2 million in 2014," he stated. "Within this, outbound travel for business from India has also risen by several notches, and this has created a need for a payment solution that brings a range of relevant benefits."

MasterCard pointed to Centrum's broad distribution network as key to meeting the needs of corporate users traveling out of the country.

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