ICICI Bank Limited (NYSE: IBN), India's second-largest Bank and India's largest credit card issuer, and Visa (NYSE: V) have announced a strategic relationship that will enable ICICI's New York Branch to issue Visa Debit cards in the U.S., extending the convenience and worldwide acceptance of Visa Debit cards to the bank's increasingly global customer base.
The bank will offer Visa Debit cards to its Global Indian Account and other checking account customers at its New York branch. The Global Indian Account service addresses the banking needs of Indians moving overseas who require access to local banking facilities in the United States.
Mr. G V S Ramesh, Head of ICICI Bank's US Branch, said, "We chose Visa as our strategic partner in the U.S. for exactly the same reason we work closely with Visa in India - they have an unmatched suite of payment products that allows our customers to pay securely and conveniently for every type of purchase. Visa Debit makes an important contribution to enhancing our relationship with our most valued customers."
The Global Indian Account provides customers with simultaneous access to a US$ Checking account at the Bank's New York Branch for use in the U.S. and a Rupee NRE account at ICICI Bank Limited for their use in India. The US$ Checking account will come with a Visa Debit card that can be used at millions of merchant locations and ATMs worldwide; the accounts will have Internet banking capabilities for electronic fund transfers - including cross border remittances - and will primarily be targeted at the large Indian expatriate community working in the U.S.
"This new debit offering reflects ICICI's commitment to finding innovative ways to meet the evolving payment needs of its growing and geographically-distributed customer base," said Stacey Pinkerd, head of global consumer debit products, Visa Inc. "We look forward to continuing to work closely with ICICI in identifying new opportunities to tailor Visa's highly versatile debit platform to serve their customers and grow their global business," he concluded.
In March 2008, ICICI Bank opened its first New York Branch in midtown Manhattan. ICICI Bank's New York branch focuses on corporate banking, including working capital, treasury solutions, trade finance and long-term lending focusing on India-US business linkages, and the local banking needs of non-resident Indians.