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Prepaid cards: Tech Mahindra surrenders, RBI cancels

The Reserve Bank has cancelled Tech Mahindra’s certificate of authorisation (COA) to issue pre-paid cards after the company voluntarily surrendered the authorisation, the central bank said in a release. The COA was issued to the tech giant in November 2013.

Following the cancellation of the COA, the company cannot transact in the business of pre-paid card issuance. However, any customers or merchants having a valid claim on Tech Mahindra as a Payment System Operator (PSO) can approach the company for settlement of their respective claims within two years from the date of this cancellation (27 August 2020), the central bank said.

This move seems to be in line with the company’s lack of ambition in the payments space. In 2016, it said that it would not be pursuing a payments bank despite having a license to do so. Prior to that, the company announced that it would launch a payments bank in FY17-18. At the time, Tech Mahindra said that it will integrate its digital wallet, MoboMoney into the proposed payments bank.

However, it gave no reason for backing out on its claims and its outlook on the payments business. MediaNama has reached out to Tech Mahindra for a comment and will update this when we hear from them.

Tech Mahindra’s recent developments

This week the company announced that it will build a blockchain-based solution to fight SMS and call spam in partnership with Microsoft. Although either company didn’t offer many details on the project, they announced that the platform will be built on Microsoft’s Azure platform and will also utilize cloud services.

Recent reports also claim that the company will be announcing 5G pilot projects in the coming months. This is in line with the company’s bet on upcoming technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. Earlier this month, it signed an MoU with the Telangana government to set up India’s first ‘blockchain’ district in the state. Last week, Tech Mahindra also announced that it would acquire Czech Republic-based engineering services firm Inter-Informatics for around Rs 8 crore through a wholly-owned subsidiary.

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