Money & Banking

MobiKwik partners Amex for ‘MobiKwik Blue American Express Card’

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on November 10, 2020

Brings digital-only card experience to its young user base; marrying wallet to prepaid Card will improve offerings, says MobiKwik’s Upasana Taku

MobiKwik, a leading fintech platform, has entered into a strategic partnership with American Express to launch “MobiKwik Blue American Express Card”, a digital prepaid Card.

Over the next one year, MobiKwik, which has over 120 million users of its wallet, is aiming to issue this digital pre-paid Card to at least one million users, Upasana Taku, Co-Founder & COO, MobiKwik, told BusinessLine during an interaction on the company’s prepaid Card initiative.

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“This is the first Card ever launched by MobiKwik and is on Amex network. This furthers our aspiration to become India’s largest digital credit platform. It gives us ubiquity in terms of strong usage of wallet. This pre-paid Card mirrors the user’s MobiKwik wallet balance. Amex is an aspirational brand for young Indians to get. This allows us to provide some form of Card experience to the young user base that MobiKwik has”, Taku said.

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Besides 120 million users, MobiKwik payments currently find acceptance at 3 million merchants and 300-plus billers. Now, usage would get expanded to the whole expanse of online merchants as well as offline ones of Amex merchant network.

Issued free of charge

This launch makes MobiKwik the first non-bank issuer of Amex Cards in India. For Amex, which is an investor in MobiKwik, this marks its entry into the pre-paid Cards space through its network business. As a non-bank, MobiKwik cannot issue Credit Cards.

MobiKwik Blue American Express Card is a digital-only pre-paid Card that can be generated out of MobiKwik App and the Card increases MobikWik’s ubiquity by allowing users to pay at all Amex merchants, including top e-commerce stores like Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy, BigBasket, etc. This pre-paid Card is issued free of charge, with no activation fee attached to it. Its This pre-paid Card’s issuance is just one click and takes just a few seconds.

Taku said that the company had soft launched the Card a month ago to a select set of its users. Even in a limited rollout, the MobiKwik Blue American Express Card has seen an enthusiastic demand, with 2,00,000 cards issued in the last 40-50 days.

“The opportunity that we are going after is that we believe the form factor for credit in India is not going to be necessarily physical credit card, but digital credit experience which gives you digital credit line, like your credit card for your monthly general expense purpose”, she said.

Going forward, Taku did not rule out issuing other products with other partners. “But, for now, our first Card is on Amex network. There will be others coming in future”, she said.

Since 2018, MobiKwik has been doing digital credit as wealth products. Without this Card being a Credit Card, any user who has MobiKwik credit in their account will also be able to use that via this Card, Taku added.

Covid impact

Asked about impact of Covid-19 on the wallet business, Taku said the company has been seeing strong growth since August 2020 and has now reached pre-Covid levels in terms of volume of business.

Divya Jain, VP & Head of Global Network Services, India & South Asia, at American Express, said that this partnership enables Amex to have access to the large consumer base of MobiKwik and help get scale through those consumers.

“As those consumers transact, it drives more transactions on our network and helps us to become more relevant for our merchants. That’s the relevance of this partnership for Amex”, she said.

Asked if this Card will end up cannibalising other existing Card offerings of Amex, she replied in the negative. “Given the size of India, we don’t believe it is going to cannibalise. It is going to co-exist”, Jain said.

Published on November 10, 2020

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