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Mastercard and Obopay collaborate to launch a prepaid card in rural India

By Leandra Monteiro

February 21, 2023

  • Digital Payments
  • Digital Wallet
  • Farmers
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Mastercard, Obopay Mastercard and Obopay announced their collaboration to launch a financial inclusion card for smallholder farmers and rural communities.

Powered by Mastercard’s Community Pass digital infrastructure, the prepaid card will allow farmers to receive the sale proceeds for their crop digitally, spend their earnings to make purchases even in remote locations that have poor or no connectivity, and build a transaction history based on their income and expenditure to access customized credit options.

Himanshu Bansal, VP, Digital and Financial Inclusion, Mastercard Community Pass, said, “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.”

The prepaid card will work in tandem with the existing Mastercard Farm Pass platform wherein the farmers will be able to receive payments into their prepaid card account, thereby allowing them to use it to transact at local outlets. Farm Pass is part of Mastercard’s broader Community Pass infrastructure.

Obopay will link the online Prepaid cards with offline digital wallets at the backend to ensure a seamless experience for users. This will result in digitization of farmer spend, while leveraging the existing acceptance points of sale in villages and semi-urban areas. By building a digital record of farmers spend and income, the solution will also facilitate customized credit. The card will target smallholder farmers, Self Help Group members, small buyers, traders, along with the adjacent rural ecosystem.

Shailendra Naidu, CEO, Obopay, said, “Digital payments can be a game changer for farmers in today’s technologically driven ecosystem. 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.”

The offline wallet feature on the card will enable cash-in-cash-out transactions in non-network areas, making it a particularly relevant solution for farmers in remote areas who lack connectivity or cannot afford data. It will also allow farmers to securely receive and store money in multiple wallets on the card and ensure a consistent user experience across products.

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