Pre-paid cards in India has always been driven by gift cards and transportation cards, and this is expected to continue over the forecast period. Merchant-issued gift cards form the majority of closed loop pre-paid cards in India.
Smart pre-paid cards issued by transport operators expanded over the last few years. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has seen rapid growth in the uptake of its smart cards.
Indians have traditionally used closed loop pre-paid cards, with merchant-issued gift cards accounting for a significant proportion of sales. However, over the last couple of years, and especially after the demonetisation policy in November 2016, larger numbers of open loop pre-paid cards were issued by banks.
ItzCash (Intrex India) was the leading issuer of pre-paid cards in 2017, and also continued to record the highest value transactions. The company was started in 2006 and was one of the first to issue a pre-paid card for migrant workers to send money back home.
Banks have played a major role in expanding the usage of open loop pre-paid cards. Several private banks, including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank, have a number of pre-paid cards in their product portfolios.
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