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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. collaborates with MasterCard to launch its Borderless Prepaid Card



November 02, 2012: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd, India’s largest integrated travel and travel-related financial services company, reaffirms its position as an undisputed market leader in the Foreign Exchange business with the launch of its ‘Borderless Prepaid Card’ in collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide, a global payments and technology company. This makes Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. the first non-banking entity in India to launch a Prepaid Foreign Exchange Travel Card. Thomas Cook (India) Ltd’s Borderless Prepaid Card empowers travelers with the option of loading as many as eight currencies on a single card - US Dollars, British Pounds, Euro, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs, Singapore Dollars & Japanese Yen. 

Borderless Prepaid Card is a unique smart multi-currency card enabling the cardholder to use the appropriate currency loaded on the card - based on the country being visited - thus effectively saving money and time. An embedded chip and PIN ensures security and increased protection against counterfeiting and skimming card frauds. Customer-centric features on the card include instant loading, emergency cash disbursement and free replacement card in case stolen or lost and 24x7 global emergency assistance available via toll free access in over 80 countries.
The collaboration with MasterCard brings enhanced convenience to Indian travelers on holiday or business trips with acceptance at over 34.3 million merchant establishments, e-commerce websites and access to 2 million ATMs.
Today’s launch comes on the heels of recent positive growth for India’s tourism industry which shows that the number of outbound trips forecasted by 2015 are 22 million, resulting in a 12% Compound Annual Growth Rate (2010-2015).1,2

As per a Consumer Segmentation Study conducted by MasterCard in July 2011, India recorded 514 points on the International Travel Index* indicating travel as the most important passion point for the affluent segment with 36.7% affluent Indians wanting to go overseas for a holiday.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Madhavan Menon, Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd said, Thomas Cook’s legacy of innovation as the global pioneer of packaged holidays, prepaid hotel vouchers, holiday brochures and travellers cheques, continues with the  launch of The Thomas Cook Borderless prepaid foreign exchange card - India’s first multi-currency travel card in the non-banking space. Powered by MasterCard Worldwide, a global leader in the payments and technology industry, the Borderless card will take customer convenience, ease of use and security for Indian travelers abroad, to the next level.”
Also present at the occasion, Mr. T.V. Seshadri Division President, South Asia, MasterCard Worldwide, stated, “In line with our global vision, MasterCard has always created possibilities for a world beyond cash. We are extremely excited about our association with Thomas Cook India and the launch of the Multi-Currency Forex Travel card. MasterCard is committed to providing convenient and safe payment options to travelers worldwide and we see this card as a significant step forward in our goal to become the card of choice for the overseas traveler.”
Mr. Graham Perry, Managing Director APMEA for Access Prepaid Worldwide (“Access”), said, “Access (as a wholly-owned MasterCard® business) is the global leader in development and management of foreign currency prepaid card programs and is very proud to work with Thomas Cook India as issuer on the development and ongoing management of this unique new prepaid card for the Indian market. This product, developed and managed by Access, is unique in allowing cardholders to load multiple currencies onto one card and to authorize and settle transactions across multiple currency purses where required. Hence, it offers a benefit over other similar products and provides a superior customer experience, rather than having transactions possibly declined when there are insufficient balances on one currency purse on the card.”

Reference:
1.     MasterCard Analysis
2.     Euromonitor, 2011
3.     The Boston Consulting Group, January 2012 (Includes open-loop prepaid cards only)

NOTE: Index over 100 indicates the segment has a higher share spend for the occasion as compared to the total population. The higher the index (over 100), the greater the share spends for the occasion relative to the total population.

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