HDFC Bank launch Kerala Card
22 March 2002
Visa International, the world’s largest
payment system, and HDFC Bank, India’s
leading private sector bank, has launched the Kerala Card
The programme will run from March to July 2002 and will involve
the deployment of an acceptance framework that will increase the
number of Visa cards issued and the number of merchant acceptance
locations in cites, including Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram,
Thrissur, Kottayam and Kollam.
Under the programme, HDFC Bank will sign up new merchants and
provide merchants with electronic terminals to accept Visa cards. The
number of Visa cards-accepting merchants is expected to increase
by 50 per cent (from 1,000 to 1,500) after the programme.
Visa will also conduct several promotions and provide exclusive
benefits and rewards as incentives to cardholders to use their
cards. This is a payment
industry initiative driven by Visa International to grow
card-acceptance. HDFC Bank will be the
lead acquirer for the project and all Visa card-issuing banks will
jointly run usage programmes to offer an additional value to their
Says HDFC Bank country head (retail branch banking
and credit card) Uma Krishnan: "As the
lead acquirer, HDFC Bank will play a significant role along with
Visa in signing on new merchants, training them, providing
electronic acceptance terminals and opening new categories of
payment, including basic telephony, hospitals and clinics and
petrol stations. This will raise the
merchant acceptance base in the state and enable cardholders to
experience the safety, simplicity and convenience associated with
a payment card."
Says Visa International
country manager (South Asia) Santanu Mukherjee: "Acceptance
is a key driver of growth for the payment-card industry and Visa
realises that apart from issuing cards to consumers, it is also
important to increase the merchant-base that accepts these cards. We
are confident that the acceptance framework developed by Visa will
be successful and will benefit cardholders in Kerala, and we are
happy that HDFC Bank is partnering
with us in developing the payment-card industry in this state."
As the payment industry leader in India and the
world, Visa has taken the initiative, in partnership with its
member banks, to grow card-acceptance, he says. "We
are committed to rolling out this project in several other tier-II
cities in India in the coming days."
Visa conducted the first pilot project on acceptance in Vadodara
in June 2001 and this six-month pilot project helped build
awareness for both credit as well as debit cards.
It also achieved an overwhelming 79 per cent
increase in transaction volume year-on-year and a 70 per cent
increase in merchant sales volume (MSV) over the six-month period,
as against the India MSV growth of 30 per cent. During
the programme, 280 new merchant establishments and 200 new
merchants with electronic data capture terminals were added.
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