Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Axis Bank bullish on pre-paid forex cards, controls 45% of market

MUMBAI: Axis Bank, which is increasing its focus on retail customers after corporate loan book became a drag due to bad loans, is accelerating its growth in high-yielding pre-paid forex cards where it has about half the market from nowhere a few years ago.

Axis Bank[4] now controls 45% of the $3-billion pre-paid forex card market in India, the bank quoted central bank data as showing. From $3 billion, Axis Bank alone sells $1.3 billion worth of foreign currency through its forex card offering while the total sale of foreign currency in India[5] is roughly $12 billion every year. Axis Bank has, so far, made $7-billion foreign currency sales in the past 11 years and is now targetting $9-billion sales through its forex card at the end of FY17.

"We have been growing our credit card[6] business[7] over 40% every year. 'International' is still a small portion not just for us, but everyone," said Sangram Singh, senior VP-Head Cards & Merchant Acquiring, Axis Bank. "Domestic e-commerce is currently driving the business, but international continues to remain a niche segment."

The lender has now tied up with Miles & More to offer world[8] travellers card powered by MasterCard[9] and Lufthansa. The Miles & More Axis Bank World Traveller Card will be available in 17 currencies, including a rupee[10] wallet. The user will also be able to earn and redeem award miles while flying overseas, or while using this card in India.

"We see huge opportunities in India as international travel[11] is still developing in the country," Wolfgang Will, Director, South Asia[12], Lufthansa[13], said. "If we see the demographics, more and more Indian middle class is accessing air travel and there lies huge prospects for us."

Pre-paid forex travel card is considered to be a convenient and inexpensive way to carry money abroad. Other banks that issue such cards are SBI, HDFC Bank[14], ICICI Bank[15] and institutions like Centrum[16] Direct and Thomas Cook[17]. Some might charge a nominal amount of Rs 100-150 for issuing the card, while others give it free of cost.



  1. ^ loan book (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  2. ^ pre-paid forex cards (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  3. ^ market (economictimes.indi atimes.com)
  4. ^ Axis Bank (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  5. ^ India (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  6. ^ credit card (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  7. ^ business (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  8. ^ world (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  9. ^ MasterCard (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  10. ^ rupee (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  11. ^ travel (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  12. ^ South Asia (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  13. ^ Lufthansa (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  14. ^ HDFC Bank (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  15. ^ ICICI Bank (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  16. ^ Centrum (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  17. ^ Thomas Cook (economictimes.indiatimes.com)

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Axis Bank bullish on pre-paid forex cards, controls 45% of market Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown


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