Employee benefits provider Sodexo has partnered with restaurant discovery and food delivery platform Zomato. This partnership will allow Zomato users to use Sodexo Meal Cards to pay for the food ordered.

Sodexo has been partnering with various digital platforms to expand its digital presence. Note that, in March 2017, the 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.

Sodexo has been increasing its partnerships in recent times as it moves away from paper vouchers and increases its acceptance of its digital meal card. Note that the Meal Card can be only used for ordering food and non-alcoholic beverages. It has been updating its back-end operations to ensure that only these items can be ordered.

Sodexo’s other partnerships

Earlier in December 2017, Sodexo had announced a similar partnership with Swiggy for payments of food orders through its meal cards.

Before that, it partnered with Bangalore-based Goodbox, which allow employees to use Sodexo Meal cards while ordering food at workplaces.

In April, Reliance Jio and Sodexo partnered to enable Sodexo Meal cards to be integrated into a user’s Jio wallet- JioMoney- for making payments to multiple vendors.

In January, it partnered with online grocer BigBasket for their 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. It has other partnerships with point-of-sale (POS) terminal deploying company Innoviti Payments Solutions, Mswipe,  and with a  fellow meal card provider Zeta.

Competition

Note that both the payments company Mobikwik and Paytm have entered a space similar to Sodexo. In February, MobiKwik launched Magic, a SaaS-based platform for end-to-end corporate processes, rewards and reimbursements. The product offering includes employee benefits such as reimbursements for food, fuel, medical, phone, LTA and other company benefits—all accessible digitally for both corporations and employees on the MobiKwik app.

Last year, Paytm started its Food Wallet where companies are allowed to load food allowance to employees under the government’s approved tax redemption bracket. The Food Wallet is available in the Paytm app as a separate section in the passbook which will have the details of the allowance. However, we could not check usage or acceptance of this feature independently.