India’s working and spending population has never been as robust as it is in 2016. With Millennials (18-30 age group) making up 64% of the 1.3 billion population by 2021, starting their first jobs; their spending power has become the focus of businesses everywhere. Keeping this strategic demographic in mind, Times Internet (of the Times India Group) and HDFC Bank have launched the Times Points HDFC Bank Debit Card. Mastercard is the transaction partner for the same.
The exclusive co-branded card is targetted at those customers looking for the best deals, discounts and rewards while being as well as shopping online.
About Times Points Debit
“Times Points Debit will marry the functions of going online and transacting there to gain points and redeem rewards on the platform,” said Archana Vohra, COO, Times Cards. “No other credit or debit card is offering this facility at this point in time,” she added.
According to an official statement, some of the features of the card are ease of international use, insurance and fraudulent transaction cover as well as a minimum of 10% discount on online retail, grocery and dining experiences. Vohra made special mention of how a user can earn points by consuming, creating and sharing digital content on TIL’s platforms and shopping online on a partner site. The combined points can then be redeemed against the 350+ deals, offers and rewards offered on the Times Debit site.
The card has tied up with more than 350 ecommerce, dining, wellness and offline shopping platforms. These platforms include a few well-known names such as Jabong, Pepperfry, BigBasket, Shopper’s Stop, Four Fountains Spa and Domino’s Pizza.
It carries a daily transaction limit of $3,741 (INR 2.5 lakhs) and an ATM withdrawal limit of $1500 (INR 1 lakh). It is launching with 20 key welcome offers to onboard users and 350+ offers which will get added to, every month.
“The card caters to the evolving needs and lifestyles of our young and tech-savvy customers,” said Parag Rao, Country Head, Card Payment Products and Merchant Acquiring Services and Marketing of HDFC Bank. The demographic spends most of their time online, are earning for the first and thus, are extremely price-conscious while still wanting a well-rounded and unique dining or shopping experience.
When probed further, Parag also revealed that while the physical card space is doing outstandingly well, what they are most excited about in the near future is online cards. “We are waiting for the next 60-odd days to launch the virtual version of the card, when you just go online, apply online and have it appear in your wallet to be used when you shop online,” he said.
“We expect this (product) to be a bigger success. This is our strategy for our newer launches.” NFC (Near Field Communication), along with virtual cards, are two fields that the bank is currently looking into, in their next offerings.
Archana Vohra too was cautiously optimistic about the product which is catered specifically towards Millennials and the kinds of transactions they are most likely to go for. “Debit is a significantly faster-growing space as compared to credit. But the average transaction value is almost half that of credit cards. So what we typically hope to see is volume growth.”
The current launch is not the first foray into the co-branding card space for either of the players. Their earlier offering is called the Times Card in 2013 and was targetted at the entertainment segment. With transactions worth $360 Mn (INR 2400 Cr) being done on the credit card, launching a debit card which still has room to grow transaction-wise was the logical next step.
HDFC had earlier partnered with Snapdeal for a Snapdeal-centred credit card in August 2015, which was exclusively geared toward encouraging customers to transact in the ecommerce space. It has also partnered with Chillr, a fintech payments app that facilitates faster and secure transactions with associated banks. While Times Internet had acquired CouponDunia, an online coupon deals aggregator serving coupons 1000+ brands, among many of its other acquisitions.
The latest product is yet another attempt by the largest issuer of credit cards in the country and Times Points, an online loyalty site which has over 18 million users, to unify digital payments and grab a share of the projected $500 Bn pie.