Corporation Bank Launches a Credit Card

Corporation Bank is set to launch its own credit card according
to the Business Standard. The bank plans to outsource many
processes, however, it will be responsible for the marketing and credit
approval of the card. Corporation Bank is also planning a joint
credit card with Oriental Bank of Commerce and Indian Bank due
out in November of this year. The alliance has syndicated
Rs 1,290 crore of loans through partnerships in Mumbai, Delhi and
Chennai. The banks are in the process of sharing their ATM networks,
surplus cash, currency chests and training infrastructure. The alliance
has also identified 50 branches from each of the three banks for check
collection and demand draft payment.

UTI Bank Launches New Rewards Program

UTI Bank has introduced the “UTI Bank Spice Rewards” merchant
supported rewards program. The program will provide promotional
marketing features to merchants and cardholders through Welcome
Real-time software. This merchant-centric promotional marketing
program is unique in that most points-based rewards programs are
operated by other banks. “UTI Bank Spice Rewards” will be available
to the 150,000 UTI Bank Credit Cards and all 6 million debit cards of
the Bank.

ABN AMRO Launches a Transparent MasterCard

ABN AMRO Bank has introduced the country’s first transparent credit card that offers lifetime cash back on all purchases. The new “ABN AMRO One MasterCard” offers cash back of up to 2% on spends
across all categories. The card also offers discounts of up to 3% on domestic airline tickets and 2.5% on international tickets purchased through International Travel House Ltd and 15% discount on car rentals.
ABN AMRO also previously introduced India’s first chip enabled credit card, the “Smart Gold Card”; India’s first card with a flexible credit limit, the “Freedom Credit Card”; and the Barista and Adlabs co-branded cards, both firsts in their respective categories.

American Express Launches the Platinum Club

As part of their “Membership Changes Everything” campaign,
American Express has launched “The Platinum Club” in Bangalore, India
aimed at the wealthy. Economic boom in the country has generated desire
for exclusivity amongst the affluent in the city and the “Platinum Club”
offer them benefits including automatic membership of the American Express
Platinum Credit Card, 10X Membership Rewards program, travel and
dining benefits from various partners. American Express has also signed
agreements with 500 Platinum Partners across India, Singapore and
Thailand to offer members 10X membership rewards points. Nearly
65,000 Bangloreans travel abroad each year and eat out an average of
more than once a week.

Rights Group Advocates For Indian Cardholders

The Credit Card-Holders’ Association of India (CCHAI) is
advocating for credit cardholders, according to The Hindu.
CCHAI claims that over the past 10 years banks have capitalized
nearly 6,000 crore in extra charges, including late fees, cash advance
fees, billed finance fees, over-limit fees, cash withdrawal fees, and
check pick up fees from credit card customers. The Association also
says that the country’s credit card customers are charged the highest
interest rates in the world. In response, they plan to file with the
Supreme Court to have banks pay back a portion of the fees. Experts
say banks charge more for credit card transactions due to the higher
risk of default and because of the convenience of easy borrowing.

SBI Introduces the Fuel Freedom Card

State Bank of India (SBI) Cardholders need no longer pay the
standard 2.5 % surcharge at credit-card-accepting fuel pumps
with the new “Fuel Freedom” Card. “Fuel Freedom” enables
all SBI Card holders to enjoy a 0% surcharge on the purchase
of fuel at any petrol pump in any city. SBI was encouraged to
introduce this program with the success of the card’s
predecessor, “Fill it up”, which granted 0% surcharge at only some
fuel pumps. Currently, the company has more than 3.5 million
cardholders in its portfolio and a presence in more than 113 cities.

Wincor Nixdorf Supplies 10K Kiosks to R-Money

Wincor Nixdorf has signed agreements to supply up to 10,000 kiosk
systems, based on Beetle Systems, to Reliance Money(R-Money)
through AGS Infotech. This is part of R-Money’s effort to give
customers access to its transaction portal permitting secure online
share trading. AGS provides IT solutions for retail and banking and
has already installed 2,500 of the kiosks.

IBA Ponders the Launch of a New Card Network

Considering that card payments are estimated to triple over the next five years, banks in India have considered the establishment of a global
payment network to rival that of VISA and Mastercard, either of whom
charge an interchange fee for every single EFT/POS transaction that
occurs in the country. These interchange fees amounted to $50 million
during 2005 and 2006. In response, the Indian Banks’ Association is
planning to design a gateway called ‘India Pay’. This network will be
designed to save money and to adapt to different infrastructures,
allowing connection and interaction with networks such as China
UnionPay when necessary.

NCR To Manage HSBC Off Site ATMs

NCR has signed agreements with HSBC to manage the banks
off-site ATMs throughout the western and southern regions of India. The
agreement stipulates that NCR will provide first-and second-line
maintenance, caretaker services, site maintenance, consumables supply and management, not including cash replenishment. NCR’s services will save the bank time and in-house resources on routine management of its ATM network.

Andhra ATMs Accept Kingfisher Ticket Payments

Financial Software Systems has designed an eTicketing service
allowing VISA cardholders to pay for KingFisher Airline tickets
through Adhra Bank ATMs. Following the reservation of the flight,
the customer is given a “booking reference number” to be used as
reference to pay for the ticket at an Andrah Bank ATM. After the
ticket payment is authorized, the receipt given for this
transaction is what is to be used to claim the boarding pass.
FSS solutions power over 85% of card based transactions for major
banks in the country. Andhra Bank has more than 500 ATMs across
India and more than 23 lakh cardholders.


ICICI Bank and Megamart have teamed to introduce a co-branded “VISA Gold” credit card. The new card earns six reward points for every Rs 200 spent at any Megamart clothing outlet. Points can be redeemed for Megamart vouchers. New cardholders receive a bonus gift voucher of Rs 200 upon making their first purchase. Other card benefits include 90-days free financing on purchases above Rs 1500, plus free
alteration of garments and access to special promotions. Megamart has 54 outlets in 16 cities across the country.

ICICI and enStage Deploy Verified by Visa

ICICI Bank and enStage have partnered with VISA for the
deployment of their 3-D secure solution, “ACCOSA 3-D”. The
new solution will provide protection to its cardholders for online
transactions. “ACCOSA 3-D” secure software initiates a verification
software at the bank using ‘Verified by VISA’, the program enables
the bank to intercept transactions to verify identity and requests
the cardholder to enter a PIN. Experts say this will prevent consumer
fraud and theft.