Western Union has launched a pre-paid card in India with ICICI Bank and MasterCard.

The target customer base for this product is mainly un-banked people who use cash for transactions. With this card, the company hopes to reach out to people, for instance migrant workers, who are looking for a safe store-house for their cash.

Customers can load money on their pre-paid cards, which will be issued by Western Union at a fee of Rs 100. The card can be used at any of the ICICI Bank ATMs free of cost and at other non-ICICI Bank ATMs at Rs 25 a transaction.

The card can also be used for purchase at retail outlets which use MasterCard-enabled point of sale terminals. There is no restriction on the average daily balance as is required by a typical savings bank account.

This service will be available at 1,000 participating Western Union agent locations by the year-end.

The card comes with a high maintenance charge.

For instance, if an owner of a prepaid card loses or forgets his PIN, the same will be re-issued to him at Rs 100. The customer will have to pay Rs 50, if he wishes to update his contact details or address.

The loading fee on the card will be Rs 20 for a load. If the customer wishes to load the card from a remote location, then he will be charged 2 per cent of the load value. The card will also attract annual maintenance fees of Rs 50 a year from the second year onwards.

satyanarayan.iyer@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 23, 2012)
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