Sodexo to phase out paper vouchers

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 09, 2018


Plans to go digital by this year-end

Leading gifting and employee benefit services provider Sodexo will soon be phasing out its iconic meal and gift paper vouchers from the Indian market even as the company charts out a digital strategy.

With the digital strategy in place, Sodexo India expects a 20 per cent jump in its revenues and client base, said a top official. It plans to add about six lakh users every year.

Talking to BusinessLine, Sodexo BRS India CEO Stephane Michelin said that by this year-end all the paper vouchers will be out from the market and will be replaced with plastic cards. This is also in line with RBI’s guidelines for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) that require all meal-voucher companies to switch over to electronic formats by the year-end.

Prepaid card launched

“India is one of the top three priority market for us after Mexico and Brazil and we are forced to keep up with the change the market is witnessing at present when it comes to acceptance of cards and digital transactions,” Michelin said, adding that the company has already launched — a prepaid card — Sodexo Premium Pass, a digital employee gifting solution, in partnership with IDFC Bank and National Payments Corporation of India’s RuPay.

The gifting solution has two variants — the ‘Premium Pass – Celebrations’ for gifting during festivals and special occasions, and ‘Premium Pass – Rewards’ for ongoing employee and channel reward, and recognition programmes. The cards will be accepted at over two million retail outlets and 90,000+ online merchants on the RuPay network and about Sodexo’s three million daily consumers across 11,000 clients will now get access to this new offering.

Tax savings

The variants are reloadable, personalised and secure, PIN-based cards and can also be linked to the mobile app for easy transactions on the go. Besides, the consumers will be eligible for tax savings on up to ₹5,000 per year on these cards, Michelin said.

“It makes sense for us to adapt to the change as the government wants to put all the ecosystem on a digital platform. Besides, the effort to bring more and more people under the tax net will only add to our growth as we are dependent on the organised economy,” Michelin said. He added that the company is planning to invest massively in mobile payments to leverage the government’s Bharat QR code initiative.

In the past few months, the company has tied up with several digital payment solution providers such as Zeta, Innoviti Solutions, Atos and Mswipe and is looking to expand these tie-ups going forward as the company would soon be targeting the SME segment for the reward cards.

Published on August 10, 2017

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