Sunday, November 7, 2010

Policy benefits through pre-paid cards!

LIC gets RBI nod to issue pre-paid cards to clients

Policy benefits through pre-paid cards!
No need for Bank account!!
In a move that will create a new business opportunity for India’s largest insurer,the Life Insurance Corporation of India’s card division has received permission to issue pre-paid cards into which policy benefits will be credited.
The RBI on Thursday said that banks may issue pre-paid instruments to LIC for credit of either one-time or periodic payments by the Corporation to its customers. Speaking to ET, SC Singh, chief executive, LIC Cards said that the Corporation has been eyeing pre-paid cards as a business opportunity. Besides saving the Corporation remittance cost, it would also enable it to acquire card customers. “There may be people who are more comfortable with using a pre-paid instrument. This will also aid financial inclusion as it will allow payment cards to be issued to those without bank accounts and who are not ‘cardable’ at present,” said Mr Singh.

According to RBI, the pre-paid instruments can be loaded by the bank by debiting to LIC’s bank account and the maximum amount that can be loaded in a single card is Rs 50,000. LIC entered the credit card business in March 2009 by floating a wholly-owned subsidiary — LIC Card Services . The ‘LIC Cards’ are managed by Corporation Bank and the Visa is the payment service provider.

“We entered the business when the credit card industry had turned cautious and have not been aggressive so far. But we will soon be entering the next phase when we will start growing the business,” said Mr Singh. Currently, LIC Cards offers Gold and Silver cards which are ‘life time’ free for those who apply before March 2011.

Among financial institutions, LIC has perhaps the largest customer base with over 20 crore policyholders. A couple of years ago, the Corporation set out on a data mining programme, where it sought to consolidate policyholder information into a common folio.
Courtesy: ET

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