Samsung to lure 175 million existing India customers with cashback card

A customer prays inside a Samsung showroom in New Delhi, India, July 27, 2018. Picture taken July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics is targeting repeat purchases from its 175 million customers in India through a new cashback credit card, a senior executive said, a move to boost sales in the critical market where it was once the top smartphone seller.

With India's festive season underway, the South Korean electronics giant on Monday launched a new credit card with India's Axis Bank to offer 10% cashback all year round to customers buying Samsung products.

Typically, such discount offers are available on e-commerce websites such as Inc and other brick-and-mortar stores only during the festive season or during sales.

"We are talking about 175 million existing consumers, which is our current installed base for Samsung in India. This entire base is a potential," Raju Pullan, Samsung's senior vice-president for its India mobile business, told Reuters.

Samsung, which says it is India's largest consumer electronics firm, sells everything from smartphones to washing machines in the country. But nearly 72% of its total India revenue of $9.3 billion in 2020-21 came from smartphones.

Samsung's move to offer cashbacks to customers through its new card partnership comes after it lost smartphone market share over time to Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, who offer many budget smartphones in the world's second largest mobile market.

In the second quarter of 2020, Samsung had a 26% share of India's smartphone market, which is currently at 19%, data from Counterpoint Research shows.

"Samsung is going aggressive on the financing side of things. Financial support plays an important role in helping people make smartphone purchase decisions," Counterpoint analyst Tarun Pathak said.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in New Delhi; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Shinjini Ganguli)

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