PayTM forex card: What happened?

Aman Saxena

PayTM, the Indian payment and e-commerce giant you know for everything from wallet to wallet transfers to paying phone bills, expanded into forex services in 2018.

This expansion included Forex Cash, but also a new PayTM Forex Card.

Let’s take a look into the PayTM Forex Card and see why you might have trouble finding it today.

What is PayTM forex card?

The PayTM Forex Card was a Visa card that was launched in July of 2018. Catering to Indian travellers, you could load 20 international currencies into a single account.

US DollarsThai BahtEurosUAE DirhamSingapore Dollars
British PoundsAustralian DollarsCanadian DollarsSwiss FrancsHong Kong Dollars
Japanese YenChinese YuanSwedish KronaSouth African RandSaudi Riyal

Once you added the currencies on to the card in your account from the PayTM app or website, you could then spend those currencies in their local markets when you were travelling.

PayTM positioned the Forex Card as an additional ease to payments abroad, especially when you are making travel bookings and plans.

The minimum to load onto the card was the currency equivalent of $200 USD per transaction. But you would still have to comply with FEMA regulations of not loading more than $250,000 USD in a year.

The Forex Card could be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and you could use it at Visa-enabled ATMs globally too. And the money would get drawn down from your account in the currency you are spending in.

As far as charges go, there wasn’t a service fee. But there was a ₹ 150 delivery fee for the card as well as hidden charges in the exchange rate. PayTM would set their own exchange rates and take a slice of the rate as profit. Which comes in the form as a fee on every rupee converted.

⚠️ This is different from giving you the real exchange rate, which is the exchange rate you often see on Google. And the rate that banks use themselves. The real exchange rate is also what you get with Wise too

Open your free Wise account now

So what happened to The PayTM Forex Card? It is hard to say. The PayTM Forex Card can not be found as an option on the PayTM app or website currently.

Even though there are prepaid travel cards available, the PayTM Forex Card seems to have been removed quietly and without an announcement and is no longer available.¹

How can I get a PayTM forex card?

In the summer of 2018, you could have gotten a PayTM Forex Card quite easily. But if you went looking for it now, you won’t find an option to sign up for the Forex Card at PayTM. It has been discontinued.

One of the highlights of the Forex Card was that you could order it through PayTM and the card was guaranteed to be delivered to your home in 48 hours. You could also collect it from PayTM partners across India.²

A cheap, fast and transparent alternative: Wise

Wise

There are lots of ways to make payments abroad, including sending money directly to a local account. That’s where Wise comes in.

If you are a resident in India, you can send money using Wise’s easy, fast and cheap global money transfers. You can send money to local bank accounts in 150 different countries around the world.

Wise is free to sign up and cheaper to use than most banks. All you have to pay is one low transfer fee on your transfer. That’s it.

The true cost of sending USD to INR

Because Wise uses smart technology to do global money transfers, you get the real exchange rate on every transaction. No mark ups or hidden fees here.

In currently selected countries, you can get your hands on Wise’s multi-currency card with 50 different currencies to hold. You can use, swipe, spend and convert at the real exchange rate.

Other alternatives to PayTM forex card

Although the PayTM card is no longer available, you can still get multi currency cards from popular Indian banks and a digital company. But make sure you read the fine print with the bank multi-currency cards, there can be fees and restrictions.

ProviderDescription
HDFC BankThe HDFC Multi-Currency Forex Plus Card lets you hold 22 currencies in your account, which is more than most other banks, but comes with applying and reloading fees.
Axis BankThe Axis Multi-Currency Forex Card gives you access to 16 currencies but has a sign up fee of Rs. 300 and a minimum daily use limit of $10,000 USD.
SBIWith only 7 currencies available, the SBI Multi-Currency Card is limiting but could work fine for existing SBI customers.
ICICI BankThe ICICI Multi-Currency Travel Card has an app that makes it easy to use for its 15 currencies and switch between them, but it does come with a Rs. 100 fee for reloading.
NiyoA partnership between DCB bank and Niyo, the Niyo Global Card gives you access to the Visa network and an easy app, but check the fees as always.

Sources used for this article:

  1. PayTM Forex Card
  2. PayTM Forex Card Signing Up

All sources checked as of 23 September, 2020


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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