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Kotak Bank and PVR cinema chain launch debit card as India’s movie theatres reopen

By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

November 19, 2021 | 4 min read

With the re-opening of cinemas and multiplexes in India, entertainment is returning to the big screen. To capitalize on consumers' pent-up need for OOH entertainment, PVR Cinemas, the largest chain of multiplexes in India and Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL), have unveiled a first of its kind co-branded movie themed debit card.

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Kotak and cinema chain PVR have launched a co-branded debit card as consumers return to movie theaters

Customers will earn reward points on all spending with their Kotak card, which can then be redeemed at PVR, for vouchers on food, drink and cinema tickets at any of the chain’s 78 sites. The card also offers further discounts for brands partnering with KMBL, including Amazon, Flipkart and hotel booking site Goibibo.

Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Limited, told The Drum that the partnership was planned in before the pandemic hit – but that it was now the perfect time to implement it.

Dutta said: ”We are extremely delighted to associate with Kotak to introduce the First-in-Market, Entertainment Focused Debit Card which will harness the strength of both brands to attract passionate movie goers to our cinemas. Movie viewing is a universal experience spanning across age groups, gender, occupation and geographies, and the unique co-branded debit card that will enable PVR get access to Kotak’s large customer base and reach will help to tap loyal customers.

”The launch of the Card comes at the right time when the film exhibition sector is showing strong signals of revival with states relaxing restrictions and cinema enthusiasts resuming their movie going habits with the vibrant content pipeline being showcased at the cinemas”.

Puneet Kapoor, president of products, alternate channels and customer experience delivery at Kotak said: “We are seeing a gradual return to normalcy and are keen to support the resumption of activities. The first signs of recovery in the entertainment industry are visible with movie theaters reporting higher footfalls and eager audiences keen to experience the magic of the big screen once again.

We believe that this is just the right time to further strengthen our Dosti with PVR and introduce the first-ever co-branded movie debit card in India, enabling us to serve a much larger segment of our customers who are avid movie-goers.”

Kotak hope the initiative will help build brand affinity. Kapoor said co-branding in the debit card space is still at a nascent stage, though India has many more debit card users than credit card users – 900 million compared to 90 million, according to the bank. Furthermore, while credit cards offer bigger profit margins for banks, consumers use debit cards more frequently, making them better vehicles for branded team-ups.

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