This 20-year-old Finance Company has Come Up with a Prepaid Card that can Replace Debit Cards

Set up immediately after the 1991 economic liberalization, the firm knows how to make the most of economic reforms like digitization

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Whether it was the economic liberalization in 1991, led by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, or the current digital revolution promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government, companies in the finance sector have always been able to make the most of the economic reforms.

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Today, with the various digital reforms and the government’s push to be a cashless economy, even established companies are putting down their papers, to go digital.

With two decades of experience, Transcorp International Limited is reinventing itself to explore new areas and disrupt the market. Entrepreneur India caught up with CEO Amitava Ghosh as he spoke about how they are leveraging their experience and the launch of their new prepaid card that could replace a bank’s debit card.

Holding Fort with Licences

Since its establishment in 1994, Transcorp has found a strong foothold in the financial sector. The fact that the company’s founding year was close to the liberalization of India economy, made things easier for them. Prior to the same, their main activity of money exchange used to be an extremely controlled one, with only banks being allowed to carry out the transactions. “This epoch-making event allowed private players to enter the scene. We received one of the first few licences given out by RBI,” said Ghosh.

Soon, after that they tied up with Western Union to make way for remittances.  They are also an AD2 licence holder, which also allows them to do remittances outside the country. Their PPI licence enables them to do digital remittance. “The launch of the prepaid card, in association with Yes Bank, is a step in the right direction. It allows corporates to give out these cards to employees, who don’t even have bank accounts, to use this as their salary cards or allowances cards,” said Ghosh. The prepaid card can be used in stores and ATMs and also for online transactions. They will soon be rolling out their own wallet.

The regulatory licences have helped them expand their consumer-base and even get the top global remittance companies on board as their partners. But for them it wasn’t easy. “To acquire licences, there are certain entry barriers. For example, for a money transfer licence you need to have a net worth of INR 10 crore. But just acquiring the licence doesn’t help you in anyway, you must have the requisite infrastructure to use that positively for value addition,” said Ghosh.

BSE-listing Amped Up their Revenue

In 1998, they were listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and that further led to their growth. According to Ghosh, the fact that Transcorp is a listed company with a positive balance sheet has created a positive impression and brought many investors and business opportunities. “Eight months ago, we were trading at 16-18 rs and now, we are trading at 40 rs. Having all the licences, which look towards the future, has helped us,” he said.

Changing Times

For Transcorp, which had been dealing with cash for years together, the shift to digital has been one of their biggest innovations. Ghosh believes that the idea of a digital India, even five years ago was at a nascent stage, but with government policies pushing for cashless transcations, they have embarked on the digital journey at the right time. “There is acceptance from the consumer side. Citing my own example, I haven’t been to a bank for the last 10 years. So, it is an encouraging situation for a digital India,” he said.

But with the advent of technology, there has been the emergence of many fintech companies that are looking at solving similar problems that they have been solving. Ask Ghosh about how they handle competition and he’s quick to answer that it is their experience that gives them an edge. “We already have an established network of 7.500 offices and 2mn customers, I’m going to bank on that,” he said.

Sanchita Dash

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Entrepreneur Staff

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

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