Fintech start-up NiYO eyes half a million 'Global Card' users by April 2020

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NiYO, a fintech start-up providing banking solutions to salaried employees, is now banking on the aspirational Indian middle class travelers to expand the user base of its Global Travel Card.

Around 50,000 customers have already signed up for its Global Card. The card adoption is set to get more frenetic with NiYO eyeing half a million users by April 2020. NiYO claims it is the only fintech company to come up with such an offering.

“We have launched the Global Card in partnership with DCB Bank and Visa. The forex card market in India is growing rapidly with 50 million travelers estimated by 2020. With travel fares fairly economical, the aspirational citizens from metros and smaller tier cities are taking to overseas travel. About 40 per cent of their travel spends is routed through cards. Our Global Card can be used for both domestic and international travel and can be loaded multiple times”, said Virender Bisht, co-founder and chief technology officer, NiYO Solutions Inc.

The forex card market in India is valued at $17 billion and in calendar 2019, 20 million Indians are projected to travel overseas. Though a new kid on the block, NiYO is keen to grab a significant share of the forex card pie.

Banks and foreign tour operators like Thomas Cook are already providing forex cards to the outgoing tourists. However, NiYO stands over the clutter in offering a zero mark-up card, unprecedented in the sector. This implies, users of NiYO Global Travel Card are exempted from shelling out a premium on foreign currency swapping and international transaction fees which drill a hole on their pockets.

International travelers are often burdened with steep currency exchange rates. Banks charge one to three per cent of the amount transacted. Over and above the currency exchange charges, banks levy a flat fees or a certain percentage of the transacted amount.

Forex card holders are also beset with attendant security worries. On this facet, NiYO steers clear of the concerns.

“Our Global Card is always connected to the mobile. With their mobile handsets, the users can lock their cards and also set the limits on spends”, Bisht said.

The card is supported by a cutting-edge mobile app which gives users the ability to lock and unlock either the full card or a payment channel anytime, anywhere in the world. The app also provides real-time notifications on usage, exchange rates and refunds, while helping users find convenient ATM locations and avail nearby offers.

NiYO received its seed investment from Prime Venture Partners. Its Series A investors included Social Capital, Horizon Ventures and JC Capital, raising a total of $13.2 million for the Series A round.

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