LIC ventures into credit cards
By Ankit Sharma
Sep 4, 2008
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Life Insurance Corporation of India, the largest life insurer in the country, will be soon be offering their much awaited credit cards.

Addressing a press meet on the occasion of LIC's 52nd anniversary, Senior divisional manager Bhausaheb Gujar said in Nagpur, "'We were in negotiations with a firm, but the deal could not be finalized for some reason. We are now negotiating with another partner, and the talks are in final stages. In all likelihood, LIC's credit card will be launched in October 2008,'' he said.

LIC has sought the help of consulting firm KPMG to study the prospects of entering the credit card market and identify joint venture partners.

"We are aware that we are a late entrant in a very competitive credit card market. But we will stay true to the LIC brand name, and come out with credit cards that cater to all segments of the population," said Gujar. "Although the name of the company is yet to be finalized, it will bear LIC's name and may be called "LIC Credit Cards" or "LIC Card Services", he added.

Through this joint venture, LIC aims to offer its policyholders the facility to pay their premium with LIC's own credit card.

"Not only will this provide added convenience and service to LIC customers, it will bring down transaction costs for LIC", said the press release. "Our marketing team will soon begin work on the credit card offerings," added Gujar.

Earlier it had synced up with Corporation bank and Axis bank for accepting premiums from those holding accounts there.

Amongst the payment modes available to a policy holder are Internet payments, electronic clearing service, automatic teller machines (ATMs) of Corporation Bank and Axis Bank, online collection at Axis Bank branches and through LIC's portal.

LIC had also introduced the payment of premium through SMS, but presently this service is only available to account holders of Corporation Bank.

In the fiscal year 2007-08 LIC added 375.90 lakh new policies with 5,49,972 policies sold in the Nagpur division alone. The collective sum assured for the year was Rs 2,75,457 crore with first premium income tuning up to Rs43,812 crore.

The corporation targets 6,25,000 policies for the current fiscal.


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