Mastercard, the plastic money leader in Asia and the Pacific, plans to tap the rural sector in a big way by launching electronic cards for farmers, besides giving a big push to debit cards as the company sees India, along with China, as 'significant' market for card business.
Mastercard Asia-Pacific region president Andre Sekulic said Mastercard has grown at a record 38 per cent in 2000 in the region, proposed to focus in the unbanked sector in India after the successful launch of electronics cards in the Philippines and Malaysia this year.
Elaborating on the India plan, Mastercard's general manager for South and Southeast Asia, Sonny Sannon said electronic cards for farmers would be launched soon in collaboration with public sector banks, which have network in rural India.
According to Mastercard, 8.5 per cent of the transactions are still conducted by cash in unbanked sector, electronics cards provided the answer for secured payment system in the region.
With the successful launch of debit cards in 1997, Mastercard has crossed the 1-billion mark in card transactions this year and almost 12,000 transactions were carried out in the region every hour with the help of electronic cards.