India Banks the Unbanked With Launch of Prepaid Cards

India Banks the Unbanked With Launch of Prepaid Cards

India has attempted to tackle the large problem of the unbanked that reside within the country.

More specifically, the State Bank of India – a government-owned banking and financial services corporation, have sought to tackle the problem by launching a prepaid card using Visa to bring financial services to the unbanked of India.

Named with the infectiously catchy title of ‘State Bank Smart Payout Card' it allowes employers to issue prepaid cards to employees that may not qualify for bank accounts – such as contract labourers.

The card can be used to pay salaries or other funs, payees can also withdraw cash from any ATM or use it for online or electronic payments too.

Card holders don't need to open a bank account either, thus removing problems of paperwork that some workers may not have. Cards will also be protected by a PIN number, so they're as secure as any normal debit or credit card.

The card isn't just for unbanked though as existing Visa customers at SBI can take up the card and top it up through online banking. Although, those without bank accounts have to go to physical branches to add on value.

Card-holders or employers can add up to INR 10,000 ($183.83) at any time, but a monthly balance is capped at INR 25,000 ($459.57)


Dealing with the unbanked is a big issue surrounding payments, and at this year's Cards & Payments Middle East, technology and the future of payments will focus around such issues. You can download a brochure for free to find out more.

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