Indian Railways launches loyalty credit card
In India, GE Money has teamed up with IRCTC (an Indian Railways subsidiary) through SBI Card (its joint venture with State Bank of India), to launch a combined frequent traveller loyalty programme and co-branded credit card, called the 'SBI Railway Card'.
Passengers will be able to use the SBI Railway Card to book tickets online and accumulate points under the new frequent traveller programme.
To add an extra dimension of interest and novelty, the loyalty/credit card features a specially-commissioned and exclusive sketch by renowned Indian cartoonist, Shri R K Laxman.
New customer base According to Mr Roopam Asthana, chief executive officer for SBI Card, "The SBI Railway Card was launched specifically to meet the need for efficient payment processes by India's growing number of consumers. Our partnership with Indian Railways enables us to serve a whole new segment of customers who want more value from their travel and retail experience."
Vishal Pandit, president and CEO for GE Money India, added: "We are pleased to form this alliance with Indian Railways because it gives us the opportunity to meet the needs of a rapidly growing customer base in India with an exciting and innovative product."
Building on success GE Money's existing joint venture with State Bank of India (SBI) began in 1998, and reports having achieved double digit growth by combining SBI's market presence and brand strength with GE Money's technology and business process expertise. SBI Cards currently claims to have more than 2.3 million cards in circulation. The total size of the Indian credit card market has been estimated at some US$4 billion, and is currently reported to be growing at approximately 35% per year.
IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) is a subsidiary of Indian Railways, which claims to be the world's second-largest railway system and the world's largest employer, having 1.54 million employees and carrying more than 14 million passengers daily.