Axis Bank, which is increasing its focus on retail customers after corporate loan book became a drag due to bad loans, is accelerating its growth in high-yielding pre-paid forex cards where it has about half the market from nowhere a few years ago.
Axis Bank now controls 45% of the $3-billion pre-paid forex card market in India, the bank quoted central bank data as showing. From $3 billion, Axis Bank alone sells $1.3 billion worth of foreign currency through its forex card offering while the total sale of foreign currency in India is roughly $12 billion every year. Axis Bank has, so far, made $7-billion foreign currency sales in the past 11 years and is now targetting $9-billion sales through its forex card at the end of FY17. “We have been growing our credit card business over 40% every year. ‘International’ is still a small portion not just for us, but everyone,” said Sangram Singh, senior VP-Head Cards & Merchant Acquiring, Axis Bank. “Domestic e-commerce is currently driving the business, but international continues to remain a niche segment.”