payments

Essel Group-owned payments company ItzCash has tied up with RBL Bank to launch ‘Rupay Platinum Prepaid Card’, which offers prepaid payment services across both offline and online platforms. The prepaid card can be used for, online shopping, in-app payments, to make purchases in offline stores, pay bills, to withdraw cash at any ATM that accepts RuPay, gift and rewards purposes among others.

Update: A spokesperson for ItzCash informed MediaNama that with the partnership with RBL Bank, it could issue an open prepaid wallet which can allow cash out from ATMs.

The card can be used across ItzCash’s digital and physical network named ‘ItzCash World’, which has more than 75,000 franchisee retail outlets on it, across 3000+ Tier I and II cities and towns. Apart from this, ItzCash says that it has more than 10,000 online and offline merchants spread across more than 3,000 locations including cities, towns and rural India.

Offline expansion

The company says that the newly launched prepaid card is targeted at homemakers, small business communities and merchants, which suggests that this also aimed towards offline users; they will need not have a bank account to make transactions, and users can avail the Rupay card after completing a one-time registration.

Note that in May 2015, it had tied up with the Manipur State Power Distribution Company to let customers recharge their prepaid electricity meters using ItzCash Point outlet and online portal. Prior to this tie-up, ItzCash had also partnered with BSES Delhi, Reliance Energy and Tata Power for payment solutions.

ItzCash funding

In February, ItzCash secured an investment of Rs 100 crore from promoter Ashok Goel as it sought a payments bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India. The company, in 2009, had raised Rs 50 crore from LightSpeed Venture Partners and prior to that it had raised Rs 10 million from Matrix Partners and Intel Capital.

Transactions on Rupay

At least 38% of all debit cards issued in India are on the RuPay card network, a report by JM Financial Services pointed in April. The report added that out of 645 million debit cards in circulation in India as of January 2016, RuPay’s share among them was 247 million cards. It was able to increase its share exponentially among other card networks (Visa and MasterCard) due to the government’s Jan Dhan Yojana launched in 2014.

Previous RuPay tie ups

-In December last year, digital payments company TranServ said it will launch a new mobile wallet through  a tie up with mVisa and RuPay to make it acceptable across offline stores and ecommerce portals.

-In March 2015, IRCTC had partnered with Union Bank of India to offer a RuPay prepaid card which let users book train tickets and buy goods or services from the IRCTC portal.

-In October 2014, Rupay was made available across Amazon and Jet Airways, enabling RuPay debit card holders to make online transactions on the respective sites. RuPay had also roped in online merchants including LIC, Flipkart, IRCTC, Snapdeal, BookMyShow and HomeShop18, enabling RuPay card holders to make transactions on the respective site.

-Around the same time, State Bank of India has also started accepting RuPay cards on its payment gateway.

 Image Credit: Flickr user Roxanne Tamayo under CC BY-NC 2.0

Update: An earlier version of the story had said that ItzCash could not permit cash withdrawals as it is a semi-closed wallet. A spokesperson clarified and the story has been updated.