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Rediff.com  » Business » Visa lines up new products for India

Visa lines up new products for India

November 04, 2004 12:21 IST

Visa International is set to launch a slew of new card products in the Indian market. The payment company will launch a prepaid remittance card in India in January next year and commercial cards during the next fiscal year beginning April.

James G Murray, executive vice-president of Visa International, told Business Standard, "We see a huge potential for commercial card segment in the Indian market. This segment is expected to register sales volumes of about $250 million per annum for Visa."

Under the commercial card segment, Visa is set to launch a small business card and purchasing card in the next calendar year. The commercial cards will enable corporates to reduce their purchasing cost by around 30-40 per cent, he added.

With the introduction of commercial cards, Visa plans to tap the small and medium enterprises, corporates and government agencies as they are the largest procurers, said Santanu Mukherjee, country manager, South Asia, Visa. SMEs can use the cards for any purchase. This will reduce their paperwork drastically. The government agencies too use the cards for purchase of stationary, etc.

The prepaid cards segment has registered business volumes to the tune of $100 million this year, he added. India sees an inflow of around $20 billion annually, of which 20 per cent is routed through banks and the balance 80 per cent through intermediaries.

Visa sees huge business potential in the remittance segment, said Murray. The remittance card, which will be launched in January is expected to see business volumes to the tune of $200 million in the first year of operations, he added.

A pilot internet-based fund transfer between US and India will be launched in December. This will be followed by a pilot project between Singapore and India in January, said Murray. Global branding of the Visa remittance product will be launched in January, he added.

Currently, Visa in association with leading banks has introduced payroll cards on a pilot basis for select corporates, said Mukherjee.

Visa is also working with two local vendors --AMDL and Visiontech -- to develop low cost electronic data capture machines. The new machines will be available for around Rs 8,000, said Mukherjee.

"We plan to install around 400,000 EDC terminals in India in the next 2-3 years," he added. Visa has registered a 53 per cent growth in retail sales volume to $2.2 billion for the year ended June 2004. Its total card sales volumes increased to $12.9 billion.

During the period under review, Visa issued cards to the tune of 12.8 million of which credit cards issued stood at around 6.3 million and debit card issued stood around 14.3 million. Delinquency rate stands at around 6-7 per cent.

Visa has set a budget of $200,000 million to educate consumers about payment products in India and other South Asian countries, added Murray.
Anita Bhoir in Mumbai