The pre-paid cards, which are convenient alternatives to cash and cheques, are mainly issued by banks and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) on payment of specified amount and are used for purchasing goods and services from limited outlets.
These pre-paid cards which are technically known as semi-closed pre-paid instrument, the RBI said, can be loaded with a maximum value of Rs 10,000 and may be used for payment of "utility bills/essential services/air and train travel tickets; and recurring payment of college fees, school fees, government taxes."
The RBI has earlier allowed banks, NBFCs and other companies to issue different types of pre-paid payment instruments. In view of the rising inflation, the RBI has decided to increase the limit of the card with minimum value from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000.
However, the maximum limit for the semi-closed card with highest denomination has been retained at Rs 10,000. These limits indicates the maximum amount that a card can hold at any given point of time.
RBI had earlier in 2009 came out with the guidelines for the pre-paid cards and allowed the holders to buy goods and services from different types of outlets. It had allowed holders to purchase travel tickets, insurance and pay water, electricity and telephone bills.