By: 27 February 2023

The prepaid card is designed to work both online and offline

Mastercard and Obopay to boost financial inclusion in rural India

Mastercard and Obopay have launched a card for smallholder famers and rural communities in India to boost financial inclusion.  

Using Mastercard’s community pass digital infrastructure, the prepaid card will allow farmers to receive the sales for their crop digitally, spend in rural areas with no connectivity, and build a transaction history to access credit.  

Obopay will link the online prepaid cards with offline digital wallets at the backend to ensure they can be used even in areas with no internet connection. 

The prepaid card will work in tandem with the existing Mastercard Farm Pass platform—which has been used by more than 1m smallholder farmers in India—wherein the farmers will be able to receive payments into their prepaid card account.  

Mastercard noted that while 80% of the rural population in India has bank accounts, the rural economy till runs on cash due to challenges around digital acceptance, and poor or no internet connectivity. 

Himanshu Bansal, vice president of digital and financial inclusion of Mastercard Community Pass, commented: “Farmers in remote areas are often stifled by challenges related to connectivity, data speed, and complexities in using digital platforms.  

“To address these concerns, Mastercard aims to empower them through solutions that are tailored to their needs and ensure transparency in the payments ecosystem.  

“Research has shown that 50% of users who experience transaction failures during their first digital transaction go back to cash. Mastercard is delighted to collaborate with Obopay to digitally empower farmers and eliminate the credit access challenge.”  

Shailendra Naidu, chief executive officer of Obopay, said: “We are proud to collaborate with Mastercard and develop solutions that will empower farmers in a commercially sustainable way by helping them access online payments and credit.” 

Image: Canva  

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Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.