LIC may launch its credit card next month

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Nagpur, Sep 1 (UNI) The public sector Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is likely to launch its credit card next month.

Speaking to reporters here today, LIC Nagpur Division Senior Divisional Manager B B Gujar said the final decision on the partner for the credit card venture could be made soon. ''We were in negotiations with a firm, but the deal could not be finalised 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.

Declining to reveal who the partner would be, Mr Gujar said that the corporation had opened a separate office in New Delhi to look after the credit card business.

Replying to questions, Mr Gujar said that LIC was also planning to start accepting premium payments through credit card. ''Hopefully, premium payment will start by the next financial year,'' he said.

Among the modes that policyholders could use to pay their premiums were Internet payment, electronic clearing service, automatic teller machines (ATM's) of Corporation Bank and Axis Bank, online collection at Axis Bank branches and through LIC's portal, the Senior DM said. The facility to pay the premium through SMS was introduced recently, although at present it was available to account holders of Corporation Bank only, he said.

Mr Gujar said that LIC had done new business of 375.90 lakh policies, representing a collective sum assured of Rs 2,75,457 crore during the financial year 2007-2008. The first premium income during the period was Rs 43,812 crore, he added.

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