SmartCard Market to Top $1.6B by 2011

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan indicate growth in the
contactless smartcard market. The market earned revenues of $408.9
million in 2005, and estimates this to reach $1,636.2 million in 2011.
Experts credit this growth largely in part to the e-passport segment
and intensified interoperability efforts. Use of the application is also
implemented in contactless micro-payments, mass transit applications, &
mobile payments. However,this growth has raised questions regarding
electronic security. Experts therefore are advocating the promotion of
awareness that contactless smart cards are implemented in a highly
secure method and can be relied on for secure transactions in payment.
Frost & Sullivan’s consulting company has been partnering with clients to
support development and innovation for more than 40 years.

ICICI Bank Promotes Card Payments For Environment

ICICI Bank will begin a “Go Green India” initiative for the promotion
of environment-friendly practices. As means of reducing paper used,
the initiative encourages customers to use their debit cards at the point of sale rather than withdrawing paper money from an ATM to make purchases. Also, “Go Green India” encourages consumers to conduct online banking for the reduction of paper-based transactions. These tactics will reduce the amount of paper used as well as the energy and the amount of ink used on currency and paper receipts.

NCR to Manage HSBC’s Off-Site ATMs

NCR has announced it will manage HSBC’s fleet of off-site ATMs in
southern and western India, providing caretaking and maintenance
services. With this agreement, the bank expects increased channel
efficiency and availability, maintaining increasingly higher customer
satisfaction and no longer having to spend in-house resources on routine
ATM maintenance. HSBC has 9,500 offices in 76 countries and territories.
NCR employs approximately 28,900 people worldwide.

Wirecard & Bird Group Team for Travel Payment Solutions

Wirecard and the Bird Group have signed agreements on travel payment
solutions. The agreement between the two companies will enable the Bird
Group to provide clients with secure payment solutions. The agreement
will also provide WireCard AG with a great opportunity for expansion in
the Asian market. The Bird Group has over 3,200 employees and provides
companies with travel services and information technology.

Banks To Disclose More Consumer Information

The Reserve Bank of India has mandated that financial institutions
disclose fees and other details to customers as a means to check hidden
costs and provide a clearer picture of the service provided. Responses
to applications for loans and credit cards also should provide details
in the event that the consumers request is not granted. Those
institutions that are unable to meet the April 1st deadline are required
to inform RBI as to when they plan to do so.

Obopay Appoints CTO for India Market

Obopay has announced the appointment of a new chief information and
technology officer, Aditya Menon. Menon was previously CIO at Yes Bank.
Obopay is the first complete mobile
payment service in the U.S. that instantly lets consumers get, send and
spend money directly from their mobile phones to anyone, anywhere and
anytime.In an effort to provide global consumers the convenience of
mobile payments, Obopay has embarked on the Indian market, the
fastest-growing mobile market with more than 120 million subscribers.
India’s market is growing at a rate of six million new subscribers every
month and mobile phone users outnumber credit/debit card holders by as
much as 2.5 to 1.

ICICI Bank to Use PayQuik’s QuikRemit and QuikAgent

ICICI Bank has announced that Payquick will provide international
remittance technology in support of the banks’ global remittance
incentives. ICICI will use PayQuik’s “QuikRemit” and “QuikAgent” technology. This allows customers money transfers to more than 50
countries and a safe, fast, secure platform for sending or receiving
money regardless of the currency. Payquicks’ platform allows
organizations to quickly enter and serve international remittance, a
$240 billion a year market. Payquick has established relationships with
financial institutions in 20 of the top 25 fund transfer countries and
processes between 10,000 and five million transactions per year with each client.

Citibank Introduces the South Indian Bank VISA

South Indian Bank and Citibank have launched the “South Indian Bank
Citibank VISA” credit card. The new co-branded card will be offered to
the loyal customer base of South Indian Bank in Kerala. The card offers,
besides regular features, zero percent fuel surcharge
at Indian Oil petrol stations, 24 hour Internet banking facility, zero
lost card liability and Visa Money transfer. The customer would also
have an option of paying card dues through ECS at zero cost.

ICICI OneSource Becomes Firstsource Solutions

ICICI OneSource has renamed itself as Firstsource Solutions. The company also announced that it had filed the “Draft Red Herring Prospectus” with the SEBI as a precursor to its planned listing on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange. ICICI OneSource major investors include Metavante and Aranda Investments. The company has over the last four years grown significantly in scale and capabilities, with a CAGR of 74.4% in revenues over the past two fiscal years and has built a customer base of over 60 customers including 13 “Fortune 500” and “FTSE 100” companies. It is among India’s top three pure play BPO companies with over 9,000 employees and 17 delivery centers across India, US, UK and Argentina and a center under development in Philippines.


SBI Card has added a record one million new customers this year bringing its portfolio to more than three million total cardholders. The non-bank card issuer, a joint venture between the State Bank of India and GE Money, is now the second largest issuer in the country right behind ICICI Bank. SBI Card says it has experienced a compound annual growth rate of 45% on volume and outstandings since the year 2000. The issuer has co-branding relationships with Indian Railways, Lifestyle, LG, Go Air, Vishal Mega-Mart, Hero Honda and Tata. The size of the Indian credit cards market is estimated to be about $4 billion and is growing at 35% per year.

Survey Says: 75% of Consumers Have More Than One Card

Citibank India released key findings of its latest seven-country Asia-Pacific credit card consumer research study. Among findings: almost 75% of cardholders in India have more than one card and a little
over a third have more than one plastic from the same institution. The average cardholder in India uses their credit card 3.1 times in the
average week. More than 55% of card users still use cash/debit cards more than credit cards. The top two types of purchases that credit cards are used for in India are clothing/shoes and restaurants/fine dining. Home electronics and travel/airfare or railway tickets are tied for third spot.

Corporation Bank Inks Euronet ATM Outsourcing Deal

Euronet Worldwide announced an ATM outsourcing agreement with Corporation Bank in India for 915 ATMs. Established in 1906, Corporation Bank has a network of 853 branches and 6.5 million customers across the country. The bank has been connected to Cashnet since January 2004. Cashnet is the largest shared ATM network in India, operated by Euronet with more than 6,000 ATMs across the country. Under the agreement, Euronet will provide ATM outsourcing services, including 24×7 monitoring, help desk, vendor management, cash forecasting and software distribution along with various field maintenance services to Corporation Bank.