Forex services company Thomas Cook (India) Ltd and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) have launched India’s first RuPay prepaid forex card for Indians travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The product, Thomas Cook RuPay Card, has been launched as a pilot in the UAE with a global rollout planned in a phased manner. Its technology will be enabled by CARD91.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in June allowed the banks to issue Rupay forex cards.

“RuPay Debit and Credit cards issued by banks in India are gaining increased acceptance abroad. It has now been decided to permit issuance of RuPay Prepaid Forex cards by banks,” RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said.

Das added that these cards will expand payment options for Indians travelling abroad and also increase the reach of RuPay cards.

For phase one, Thomas Cook’s Forex card will be loaded in UAE Dirhams (AED), offering several use cases in the UAE, including transactions and ATM withdrawals.

“Our card business has witnessed a significant uptick with card loads growing at 172 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in 2022-23 and new prepaid card issuance by 228 per cent YoY,” said Mahesh Iyer, managing director and chief executive officer at Thomas Cook (India).

“The Thomas Cook RuPay card will be loaded with very attractive benefits including Thomas Cook travel vouchers worth Rs 13,900, lounge access at international airports in India, free ATM withdrawals, free replacement on loss of card, complimentary insurance cover, and more,” he added.

The card will also give a complimentary insurance cover up to Rs 7,50,000.

“As travel demand returns to normal, Indian tourists will soon have access to a myriad of enticing benefits and rewards offered by this card. Our goal with the RuPay Forex card is to create an unparalleled end-to-end consumer experience for Indian travellers,” said NPCI.

“We are excited to partner with NPCI and Thomas Cook (India) for the launch of the RuPay Forex Card powered by CARD91’s highly configurable and state-of-the-art technology platform,” said Ajay Pandey, CEO and co-founder, CARD91.

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