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With Matica as knowledge partner, Banking Frontiers organized an unconference where panelists from various banks shared their perspectives about cards business in India. Highlights:

Vishesh Sharma, Regional Sales Manager for Middle East & India, Matica

A panel discussion in progress

Matica and Banking Frontiers have done a survey on card issuance in 2017, in which banks were asked about the growth of card business in India and card issuance. The survey topics were demonetization and debit card usage, preferred model for technology procurement, security challenges and stocks of the cards at the bank branches. The survey found that India has added 7.2 million credit card holders and 80 million debit card holders between December 2016 and December 2017. Nearly 42% of the Indian banks said that they purchase hardware and software from the same vendors, while 58% of banks said that they purchased these from the different vendors.

Krishnan NS, GEVP-Business & Digital Technology Solutions, YES Bank

The printing of the safety guidelines in cards is very useful for customers in in rural India, where they do not have much information about the card usage. There is a need to print QR code of the safety guidelines and through the QR code, customers can download detailed information about the safety guidelines for the card usage. Indian customers want everything for free, so they are not ready to pay extra for the card issuance.

Sunil Khosla, Head of Marketing, AGS

Use of cards is still very low in India and banks need to focus on increasing the existing card business and look for opportunities to increase new business. Banks must save cost by providing simplistic solutions. They must provide schemes and offers to existing card users and there is need to increase limit of add-on cards. Banks should also introduce loyalty programs for card users, and employment benefits cards should be introduced to attract the sale of new credit cards. There is need to create strategy for distribution and marketing of cards in colleges, corporate offices and other specific places in tier 2-3 cities and banks should introduce targeted marketing campaign to promote the sales of new cards. They should focus on decreasing the cost of the logistics of the card. There is need for clubbing of the card with the mobile. Technology can save 40% of the overall cost. Also, more education should be given to the customer regarding risk involved and usage of the cards.

Daisy Fernandes, Director-Debit & Prepaid Cards, Standard Chartered Bank

Indian banks want their customers to be digital and we need to focus on providing seamless experience to the customers. Banks in India must balance between customer experience and digitization. They need to make the strategies for the first- time users of card, and for the customers who do not own smart phones. They also need to refocus on debit cards and should make a differentiative strategy for it. UPI-based payments have changed the scenario. Instant card issuance may not work everywhere. There is need to establish merchant touchpoints to provide effective services to the customers. Credit bureaus in India have rich data. Customer data helps in understanding the spending patterns of the customers and banks can offer the right products to them. It is important for banks to use the data effectively. They should be able to leverage the communications medium. There is need to create differentiative experience for the HNI customers. Overall, there is a bright future for credit cards business in India.


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