The Reserve Bank of India has given permission to the Department of Posts (DoP) to launch its prepaid debit card, in partnership with Master Card, which will allow customers to purchase products from all major retail outlets across the country.
The prepaid debit card by India Post would have a minimum value of Rs 1,000 and a maximum of Rs 50,000, a senior official from the department told Business Standard. Subsequently, the cards will be topped up with the required value.
The customers would also be able to withdraw money from ATMs using the new card from DoP. It could also be used for making online transactions, for mobile commerce and to facilitate electronic money transfer.
"The department has already received all the requisite approvals from RBI for the launch of the card and we expect to commercially announce it within a few months," the official said. DoP might also rope in a bank as partner in the venture, the official added, refusing to divulge further details.
The nature of the card would be in line with debit card offered by different banks. The software for the solution would be offered by one or more banks, while the required infrastructure and staff would be provided by the postal department.
According to the request for proposal issued by the department earlier this year, "the card (magnetic stripe-based) could be operated at merchant establishments or ATMs, where Master Card is acceptable, and in various post offices. Up to four add-on cards are proposed to be issued to one customer, along with the primary card."
The debit card would be issued to customers by major post offices, after a payment of activation fees and the amount to be loaded on to the card.
The official said such cards could also be used by organisations for giving allowances and other benefits to their employees.
Mansi Taneja / New Delhi September 17, 2010