Western Union® ICICI Bank Prepaid Card in India

The best of ePayments are being brought to India by players keen to tap the large pool of under-banked. Each player is bringing in their latest products to the market.

Western Union, ICICI Bank and Master Card have come together to launch the Western Union® ICICI Bank Prepaid Card, a pre-paid card which lets cash to be loaded onto a pre-paid card.

In India, RBI has made it clear that a Bank should always be part of the formal remittance cycle.

Hence, ICICI Bank is the banking partner in this venture.

The highlight of this launch is:

01) The product will be live by December 12.

02)The product has myriad features, viz a) Direct Payroll/Government Departments Deposit, b) money transfer deposit, c) cash-to-cash transfer, d) load cash at Western Union Agents.

03)Initially only cash deposit at selected Western Union Agents is being rolled out. As the product attracts new customers into its fold, additional features will be rolled out.

04)Western Union has 1,10,000 + agents spread all over India. Initially this facility is available at 1000 Western Union Agent locations.

05)Users can add funds to their cards via direct deposit from payroll or government payments, by loading their own cash at Western Union agents or with a money transfer.

06)Customers can load funds on to the cards of family members.  This is to minimize money-laundering chances and also Business transactions.

07)No minimum balance required

08)Free SMS confirmation on every transaction* (network charges may apply)

09)Security features are backed by the world-class systems of Western Union, ICICI Bank and MasterCard which includes 24/7 stolen/loss reporting and blocking.

10) Easy to get cash from the card @ 98,000 ATM locations India-wide including free withdrawals from 8,000 ICICI Bank ATMs

11)   In 2013 cash can be withdrawn at participating Western Union agent locations

12) Use it anywhere that accepts MasterCard in India – 660,000 point-of-sale terminals including bill payments


The target customer base for this product is mainly un-banked people who use cash for transactions. With this card, the company hopes to reach out to people, for instance migrant workers, who are looking for a safe store-house for their cash.

Associated charges. As this is a purely a commercial venture and substantial amounts are being spent on the IT infrastructure, it is natural that the charges are announced upfront.

The charges in brief are as under:-

A)   Rs100/- Card issuance.

B)   Cash withdrawal charges. Free of cost @ ICICI Bank ATMs’. Rs25/- @ non-ICICI Bank ATMs.

C)   Rs100/- Issuance of new PIN.

D)   Rs50/- To update his/her contact details or address.

E)   Rs20/- Loading cash fee on the card.

F)   2% of load value, if the customer wishes to load the card from a remote location.

G)   Rs50/- annual maintenance fees, from the second year onwards.

The charges are only indicative and for the detailed list of charges, readers are requested to contact Western Union or ICICI Bank.

India is the second country in Asia-Pacific where Western Union has launched prepaid, after the Philippines; extending the company’s stored value products and services to ten countries including in the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Peru, Panama and El Salvador.

As the cardholders  do not earn any interest on the amount stored in the Prepaid Card, Indians would not lock up huge amounts on the prepaid cards.

Re-disseminated by Prashant N. Banker by daytime, Blogger by night.

Email me @ nshantin(at)gmail.com

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