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Thomas Cook India partners with Corporation Bank to expand distribution network for its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card


Mumbai March 12, 2014: Thomas Cook (India) Ltd., India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company, announced an agreement with Corporation Bank to distribute its unique multi currency Borderless Prepaid Card via the Bank’s foreign exchange branches across its impressive 2009 strong branch network, pan India. In a first mover advantage, this pioneering initiative will see a card issued by a non-banking entity being distributed by a bank.


Launched in November 2012, Thomas Cook India’s Borderless Prepaid Card in collaboration with MasterCard Worldwide has witnessed impressive uptake- with over 60,000 of cards sold; a loaded value of US$ 205 Mn. and a market share of more than 12%, merely a year from launch – making it the largest non bank player in the space.


UNWTO research has highlighted the powerful potential of India’s outbound travel sector- estimated to account for 50mn outbound tourists by 2020. This, coupled with the strong consumer demand for its Borderless Prepaid Card, propelled Thomas Cook India to seek a strong distribution partner to fulfill its aggressive expansion strategy, and in Corporation Bank it found an ideal match. Corporation Bank’s unerring focus on both technology and its consumer saw resonance with Thomas Cook India’s pioneering innovation and consumer empowering product development.


The association, extends the reach of Thomas Cook India’s Borderless Prepaid Card via Corporation Bank’s impressive network, across India’s metros, mini metros and the emerging Tier II & III Regional markets; also rural India.


The Borderless Prepaid Card empowers travellers with the option of loading eight currencies on a single card (US Dollars, British Pounds, Euro, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Swiss Francs, Singapore Dollars & Japanese Yen) enabling the cardholder to use the appropriate currency, basis the country being visited - effectively saving money and time. Customer-centric features on the card include instant loading, emergency cash disbursement and free replacement card in case stolen or lost and 24x7 global emergency assistance available via toll free access in over 80 countries. The chip and pin security features of the card ensures additional safety for the traveler.


Mr. S R Bansal, Chairman & Managing Director, Corporation Bank said, “Corporation Bank is delighted to partner with Thomas Cook and MasterCard in introducing a secure EMV Compliant Forex Travel Card in keeping with its tradition of introducing tech-savvy and customer friendly products and services. With the number of Indians travelling abroad for business or leisure, the single Card with 8 currency pockets will certainly increase customer convenience and enhanced security and the Bank’s pan India presence would be leveraged to market this product to a large number of customers.”


Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Mahesh Iyer, COO, Foreign Exchange, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, "We are truly delighted to partner with Corporation Bank, a stalwart in the Indian banking industry, to give India’s outbound traveller far greater access to our unique Borderless Prepaid Card via the Bank’s impressive reach countrywide.”
“With this tie-up, we will take our legacy as innovators & pioneers in the travel and payment solutions business an emphatic step forward,” he added.


About Thomas Cook (India) Limited:

Thomas Cook (India) Ltd is the leading integrated travel and travel related financial services company in the country offering a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, Insurance, Visa & Passport services and E-Business. The company set up its first office in India in 1881.


TCIL’s footprint currently extends to over 240 locations (including 21 airport counters) in 99 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka and is supported by a strong partner network of 134 Gold Circle Partners and 165 Preferred Sales Agents in over 150 cities across India.


Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has been voted Best Tour Operator at the Lonely Planet Travel Awards 2013, Favourite Specialist Tour Operator at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards 2013 & 2012 and Best Tour Operator - Outbound at the CNBC AWAAZ Travel Awards 2013. In addition, TCIL has been chosen as the Best Corporate Travel Management Company by World Travel Brands 2012, and recognized as a “Consumer Superbrand” 2012-2013. At the National Tourism Awards 2011-2012, TCIL was the recipient of 3 prestigious awards. Thomas Cook India’s Centre of Learning has received IATA accreditation as “Top 10 South Asia IATA Authorized Training Centers”, 2013 & 2012.


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Thomas Cook (India) Limited is promoted by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fairbridge Capital. Fairbridge is responsible for the execution of acquisition and investment opportunities in the Indian subcontinent on behalf of the Fairfax family of companies.


About Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited:

Fairfax Financial Holdings is a Toronto-based financial services holding company with a global presence in insurance and reinsurance and a portfolio of assets in excess of $30 billion invested worldwide. The Company, founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prem Watsa, has over the past 25 years, demonstrated a strong financial track record to achieve an annual appreciation in Book Value per Share of 24.7% annually.


Fairfax has almost 20 general insurance subsidiaries and joint ventures globally, including ICICI Lombard (India).


Fairfax is engaged in long term investments from its own resources, with a focus to delivering long term capital appreciation through a flexible and value oriented approach.


Fairfax Financial Holdings through Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. owns 74% of the IKYA Group, a provider of HR Recruitment Services.


About IKYA Group

The IKYA Group, established in 2007, has over the last 6 years, evolved into a diversified provider of Business Services with interests in Human Resources (Recruitment & General Staffing), IT Staffing & Services, Facilities Management, Food & Hospitality services and Training & Skill Development through a combination of organic and inorganic methods. The Group operates out of 33 offices across 22 cities and employs 65,000 personnel.


About Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited:

Sterling Holiday Resorts (India) Limited, a pioneer in vacation ownership and a leading leisure hospitality company in India, was incorporated in 1986 with the vision of delivering great holiday experiences to Indian families. Sterling Holidays’ network includes 1512 rooms across 19 resorts in 16 scenic holiday destinations pan India. The company also has 15 additional sites where it plans to add new resorts in the coming years.


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