Sodexo and The Ticket Restaurant will need to move away from issuing paper-based meal vouchers. The Reserve Bank of India in its draft guidelines for wallets said that it will not allow prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) in the form of paper vouchers.
“The minimum validity of the prepaid meal instruments shall be one year from the date of loading. Existing paper vouchers shall not be valid beyond December 31, 2017,” the RBI said in its revised guidelines. It added companies presently issuing meal vouchers under B2B arrangements in paper voucher form will to issue PPIs in electronic form, including cards.
The maximum value in these PPIs cannot exceed Rs 1,00,000.
The Economic Times points out that Sodexo has already started digitizing its meal vouchers through cards and has tied up with point of sales deploying entities such as Worldline, First Data and Pine Labs, whose terminals will accept Sodexo meal cards.
Last year, directi’s co-founder and chief executive officer Bhavin Turakhia and chief technology officer Ramki Gaddipati launched Zeta Meal Vouchers, a mobile-based meal voucher platform for corporate employees. Through the Zeta app, employees can purchase food and non-alcoholic beverages from retail outlets.
Turakhia told MediaNama that Zeta Meal Vouchers charges merchants a commission of 1-2% of the purchase. He also mentioned that Sodexo and Ticket Restaurant charges a commission of 4-7%. Turakhia also mentioned that Zeta operates as a wallet and has tied up with RBL Bank to ensure that they have got the requisite licenses from the Reserve Bank of India.