As appeared in retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com on 23rd June 2014 by Radhika P Nair.
Gift card technology startup QwikCilver Solutions is set to launch a prepaid gift card that can be used across multiple brands. The company is also piloting a mobile wallet that can be used to pay for products at offline stores.
QwikCilver provides the backend technology that powers the gift card business of retailers and brands like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Westside, Titan, Croma and others.
The company received a prepaid wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India last year. But TP Pratap, cofounder and chief marketing officer at Bangalore-based QwikCilver, said such a licence is not needed by a brand that is issuing a gift card redeemable at its own stores.
“When it (a prepaid card) is to be used at stores of multiple brands the authenticity of the issuer becomes important. Now with the licence we can launch such a card,” said Pratap. Under pilot at the moment, Pratap said the company’s over 90 clients are ready to partner for this service. QwikCilver has already issued a gift card that can be used to buy products from multiple sellers on online marketplace Flipkart.
The gift card industry in India is expected to grow from the current 2,500 crore to about 9,000 crore in three years according to industry estimates.
“There is a good market for gift cards in the country and a product that can be used across multiple retailers will help increase the popularity of this product,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman at retail advisory Technopak. At present banks and plastic money operators like HDFC and American Express offer prepaid instruments that can be used for shopping.
QwikCilver intends to launch this product next quarter. It also plans to launch a mobile wallet that can be used at multiple retail stores.