by Aakriti Shrivastava

Employee benefits provider Sodexo has partnered with online grocer BigBasket, which will allow users to shop on BigBasket using their meal cards.  The partnership will help the company to expand its customer base and increase digital acceptance of the meal cards.

Note that the meal card can be only used for ordering food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Sodexo has been increasing its partnerships in recent times as it moves away from paper vouchers and increases its acceptance of its Meal Card. In March last year, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released draft guidelines for meal vouchers which said that they cannot be issued in paper form anymore and will have to move to digital means.

In December, Sodexo had also partnered with Swiggy for payments of food orders through its meal cards. Sodexo also has a partnership with BigBasket’s competitor Grofers, where it added IVR based payments apart from accepting Sodexo cards on delivery, as well as digital payment via meal vouchers.

The company claims to have over 3 million daily consumers in India across over 1,500  cities in India and nearly 100,000 points of acceptance. Nearly 60-70% of Sodexo’s global business is digital.

To expand its digital footprint, Sodexo launched a gift and rewards card called Premium Pass in August 2017, targeted at employees of organizations. Premium Pass is an open loop card and can be used at any merchant which accepts RuPay. In June, it tied-up with point-of-sale (POS) terminal deploying company Innoviti Payments Solutions to expand the network of outlets. Sodexo also partnered with PoS provider Mswipe to make Sodexo’s Meal Card valid at some Mswipe merchants like grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and food delivery services.