Money & Banking

BOB Fin wants to emerge among top-five credit card players in two years

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2020

BOB Financial Solutions Limited (BFSL), which recently entered into a strategic partnership with Mastercard, is eyeing entry into the top-five league in credit cards industry in terms of cards in force (CIF) in the next two years, Shailendra Singh, Managing Director and CEO has said.

This wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda, which has about 5 lakh CIF, is currently ranked 14th in the credit cards industry pecking order.

“I don’t think this (aspiration of getting into top five in 2 years) is going to be very challenging. We are now very aggressive on credit cards, and will leverage our recent strategic alignment with Mastercard to build great customer experience and product innovation and technology use,” Singh said.

To showcase this aggressiveness, BFSL (formerly BOB Cards) had, a few weeks back, launched a partnership with Mastercard – as many as five variants of credit cards with each one having  specific objective to reposition BFSL was rolled out.

Porush Singh, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said that digital is going to play a vital role in this partnership with BFSL, and that there will be enhanced focus on contactless payments, given the changes in consumer behaviour in the post Covid-19 world.

“Mastercard’s relationship with Bank of Baroda has been there for two-and-a-half decades. As we worked with the bank at an overall entity level, we wanted to see how we can help them strategically in taking advantage of the growing secular trend of people going more and more digital by using digital analytics and digital strategies to identify the right segments to create the right solutions. You have already seen the first set of products roll out recently. Many more joint solutions will come out using innovation and technology,” he added.

Porush also said that Mastercard is working on a technology solution that will help smartphones turn into acceptance points for merchants — a low-cost solution that could come in handy for lakhs of small and medium sized merchants.

This digital Point of Sale solution ( soft POS) has been developed with Worldline, and will allow merchants to accept payments through various digital form factors, including Bharat QR, simply using their smartphones.

“The merchants won’t need any new hardware infrastructure. This is the first such payment acceptance solution made in India for the world,” Porush said.

Beyond the committed investments for Indian market, Mastercard had recently an additional ₹250-crore investment plan to support small businesses in India.

Shailendra Singh said that thrust of the strategic partnership with Mastercard is going to be more on digital as the pandemic has taught everyone one big lesson — in the days to come digital is going to be way of live.

The BFSL Chief Executive said that the strategic relationship with Mastercard will not be focussed only on product development, but also on lot of solutions. “In the months to come, lot of financial innovation and engineering will happen so as to find solutions for the problems on the ground. We will make contactless an integral part of our future product rollouts,” he said.

Published on October 16, 2020

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