Indian fintech Pepper Money is collaborating with the National Payments Corporation of India and merchant technology company Pine Labs to issue a prepaid card via the national Rupay payment network.
The product, called the Pepper Money Dreams Card, is expected to reach more than a million consumers within the next year.
The card is designed for smaller towns and rural areas, where financial services are not as accessible as in India’s larger cities. Pepper Money will partner with about 100 local businesses in fashion, travel, electronics, dining and health care at launch.
The NPCI estimates the Indian prepaid card market is about $119 billion and is expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 36%.
India’s government has encouraged expansion of non-cash payments for years, often through controversial steps such as removing huge amounts of paper money from circulation and taking a hard line on U.S. payment firms that could cut into Rupay’s share.