Corporate Meal Card in India & MealPe

Corporate Meal Cards in India: An In-Depth Guide with MealPe

Corporate meal cards have revolutionized employee meal benefits in India. These cards offer a convenient, cashless solution for employees to purchase food and beverages while providing tax savings and enhancing workplace satisfaction. In this detailed guide, we will explore the various corporate meal card options available in India, their features, benefits, and how MealPe integrates into this landscape to further streamline meal benefit management.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Corporate Meal Cards
  2. Overview of Corporate Meal Cards in India
  3. HDFC Foodplus Card – Meal Card
  4. ENKASH Corporate Cards | Meal Cards
  5. SODEXO Pluxee Meal Card
  6. HAPPAY FlexiBenefits Card
  7. ZRO Meal Card
  8. How MealPe Enhances Corporate Meal Cards
  9. Advantages of Using Corporate Meal Cards
  10. Tax Benefits of Corporate Meal Cards
  11. Implementation of Corporate Meal Cards in Companies
  12. Conclusion

Introduction to Corporate Meal Cards

Corporate meal cards are prepaid cards provided by companies to their employees for purchasing food and beverages. These cards are designed to offer a hassle-free, cashless solution for meal allowances, ensuring employees can conveniently buy meals from a wide range of outlets. The cards come with numerous benefits, including tax savings, ease of use, and enhanced employee satisfaction.

Overview of Corporate Meal Cards in India

In India, several providers offer corporate meal cards, each with unique features and benefits. The leading players in this market include HDFC Foodplus, ENKASH, SODEXO Pluxee, HAPPAY FlexiBenefits, and ZRO. These cards are widely accepted at various food outlets, grocery stores, and online platforms like Swiggy and Zomato, making them a versatile tool for employees.

HDFC Foodplus Card – Meal Card

Features of HDFC Foodplus Card

The HDFC Foodplus Card is a smart, electronic prepaid card for meal allowances issued by companies. Here are its key features:

  • Wide Acceptance: Accepted across India at all food and beverage outlets.
  • Online Transactions: Can be used for online transactions restricted to food and beverages, including Swiggy and Zomato.
  • Hassle-Free Use: Unlike paper meal vouchers, the card is durable and easy to replace if lost.
  • Security: Beneficiaries are protected with zero lost card liability after reporting the loss.
  • Single Distribution: Companies only need to distribute the card once, as opposed to monthly paper vouchers.
  • Electronic Transactions: All transactions are captured electronically, ensuring transparency and easy tracking.
  • Easy Loading: Funds can be easily loaded using Enet and direct debit to an HDFC Bank account.
  • NetBanking and PhoneBanking: Each card comes with NetBanking and PhoneBanking facilities.
  • SMS Alerts: Users receive SMS alerts on all transactions.
  • Balance Check: Free card balance checks through Prepaid NetBanking.

Benefits of HDFC Foodplus Card

  • Convenience: Simplifies the process of distributing and managing meal allowances.
  • Security: Enhanced security features protect against misuse.
  • Tax Savings: Employees benefit from tax-free meal allowances.
  • Ease of Use: Widely accepted and easy to use both online and offline.

ENKASH Corporate Cards | Meal Cards

Features of ENKASH Meal Cards

ENKASH offers meal cards designed to enhance employee experience with easy management and broader acceptance. Key features include:

  • Tax-Free: Provides employees with tax-free meal cards for food and grocery purchases across multiple outlets.
  • Easy Issuance and Refill: Meal cards are easy to issue and refill with specific limits for food purchases.
  • Management: Easy to manage in case of loss or misuse, with options to restrict or block usage.
  • Track and Control: Easy to keep track of and control spending, similar to debit cards.
  • Wide Acceptance: Accepted at various supermarkets, food delivery apps, and other eating establishments.
  • Complete Overview: Offers a complete overview of spending and remaining balance.

Benefits of ENKASH Meal Cards

  • Enhanced Employee Experience: Simplifies meal purchases and management.
  • Security: Easy management and control features ensure security.
  • Wide Acceptance: Employees can use the card at numerous outlets, both online and offline.
  • Tax Savings: Helps employees save on taxable income.

SODEXO Pluxee Meal Card

Features of SODEXO Pluxee Meal Card

The SODEXO Pluxee Meal Card offers personalized meal benefits to enhance workplace well-being. Key features include:

  • Wide Network: Over 1,00,000+ meal merchants across 1,800+ cities in India.
  • Convenient Payment Options: Multiple payment modes, including swipe & pay, scan & pay, tap & pay, and online payments.
  • Tax Savings: Boosts employee take-home salary by up to Rs.1 lakh annually over and above Section 80C & 80D.
  • Year-Round Savings: Exclusive deals and discounts on Pluxee Delights Premier.
  • Mobile App: Pluxee IN app, India’s highest-rated employee benefits app for managing the card on-the-go.
  • Customer Service: Award-winning 24×7 customer service.

Benefits of SODEXO Pluxee Meal Card

  • Extensive Network: Access to a vast network of food and beverage outlets.
  • Convenient Payments: Multiple payment options enhance convenience.
  • Significant Tax Savings: Helps employees save significantly on taxes.
  • Enhanced Employee Satisfaction: Year-round savings and exclusive deals boost employee satisfaction.
  • Seamless Management: Easy to manage via the mobile app.

HAPPAY FlexiBenefits Card

Features of HAPPAY FlexiBenefits Card

HAPPAY’s FlexiBenefits card offers a paperless, compliant solution for managing employee tax benefits. Key features include:

  • No Extra Charges: No additional charges for card purchase, distribution, and storage.
  • Paperless Management: Completely paperless employee tax benefit plan.
  • Security: 100% secured and fraud-free employee benefits program.

Benefits of HAPPAY FlexiBenefits Card

  • Cost-Effective: Eliminates extra charges, reducing overall costs.
  • Compliance: Ensures compliance with tax benefit regulations.
  • Security: Enhanced security features prevent fraud and misuse.

ZRO Meal Card

Features of ZRO Meal Card

The ZRO Meal Card is part of an integrated expense management platform. Key features include:

  • Digital Convenience: Eliminates the hassle of managing paper vouchers.
  • Cloud-Based Platform: Companies can load money to the card anytime and anywhere using the cloud-based platform.
  • Compliance: Policies in place for disbursal, compliant with statutory guidelines.
  • Versatility: Can be used offline via POS machines and online.
  • Rupay Powered: Powered by Rupay, offering curated offers for users.

Benefits of ZRO Meal Card

  • Streamlined Management: Simplifies the process of disbursal and management.
  • Flexibility: Can be used for various purposes, not just meals.
  • Convenience: Easy to use and reload, enhancing employee satisfaction.
  • Tax Savings: Helps employees save on taxable income.

How MealPe Enhances Corporate Meal Cards

MealPe integrates seamlessly with corporate meal cards, enhancing their functionality and benefits. Here’s how MealPe makes a difference:

Unified Platform

MealPe provides a unified platform for managing multiple meal card providers, simplifying the process for both companies and employees. Whether it’s HDFC Foodplus, ENKASH, SODEXO, HAPPAY, or ZRO, MealPe integrates all into a single, user-friendly interface.

Advanced Features

MealPe offers advanced features such as:

  • Comprehensive Dashboard: Provides a complete overview of spending, balances, and transaction history.
  • Easy Reload: Allows easy reloading of funds to multiple meal cards from one platform.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Sends real-time notifications for transactions and balances, ensuring employees are always informed.
  • Security and Compliance: Enhances security with advanced fraud detection and compliance with regulatory guidelines.

Benefits of Using MealPe with Corporate Meal Cards

  • Efficiency: Streamlines meal card management, saving time and effort for HR and finance departments.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Enhances the user experience with easy management and quick access to funds.
  • Cost Savings: Reduces costs associated with managing multiple meal card providers.
  • Data Insights: Provides valuable insights into employee spending patterns, helping companies make informed decisions.

Advantages of Using Corporate Meal Cards

Using corporate meal cards offers numerous advantages for both companies and employees. Here are some key benefits:

For Companies

  • Streamlined Management: Simplifies the process of distributing and managing meal allowances.
  • Cost-Effective: Reduces the administrative costs associated with paper vouchers.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Enhances employee satisfaction and retention by providing convenient meal benefits.
  • Compliance: Ensures compliance with tax regulations and corporate policies.

For Employees

  • Convenience: Provides a cashless, hassle-free solution for purchasing food and beverages.
  • Tax Savings: Offers significant tax savings on meal allowances.
  • Wide Acceptance: Accepted at a wide range of food outlets, grocery stores, and online platforms.
  • Security: Enhanced security features protect against loss and misuse.

Tax Benefits of Corporate Meal Cards

One of the most significant advantages of corporate meal cards is the tax savings they offer. Under the Income Tax Act, meal allowances provided through meal cards are exempt from tax up to Rs.2,500 per month. This translates to a potential annual tax saving of Rs.30,000 per employee.

How Tax Savings Work

  • Exemption Limit: The exemption limit for meal allowances is Rs.2,500 per month.
  • Tax-Free Allowance: Meal allowances provided through meal cards are considered tax-free up to the exemption limit.
  • Savings Calculation: Employees can save tax on the amount of meal allowance provided, reducing their taxable income.

Benefits for Employees

  • Increased Take-Home Salary: The tax savings increase the employee’s take-home salary.
  • Simplified Tax Planning: Simplifies tax planning for employees, as meal allowances are automatically exempt from tax.

Benefits for Companies

  • Cost Savings: Reduces the company’s overall payroll tax liability.
  • Attractive Perk: Provides an attractive perk that can help in employee retention and satisfaction.

Implementation of Corporate Meal Cards in Companies

Implementing corporate meal cards in a company involves several steps. Here’s a detailed guide to help you through the process:

Step 1: Choose a Meal Card Provider

Select a meal card provider that best suits your company’s needs. Consider factors such as acceptance network, features, ease of management, and costs.

Step 2: Set Up an Account

Set up an account with the chosen meal card provider. This typically involves signing an agreement and providing necessary documentation.

Step 3: Define Meal Allowance Policies

Define your company’s meal allowance policies, including the amount to be allocated, frequency of distribution, and eligibility criteria.

Step 4: Distribute Meal Cards

Distribute meal cards to eligible employees. Ensure that employees are informed about how to use the cards and the benefits they offer.

Step 5: Load Funds

Load funds onto the meal cards as per the defined policies. This can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on your company’s preferences.

Step 6: Monitor and Manage

Monitor and manage the usage of meal cards through the provider’s platform. Use the platform to track spending, reload funds, and manage lost or stolen cards.

Step 7: Educate Employees

Educate employees on the benefits of using meal cards, tax savings, and how to manage their cards effectively. Provide training sessions or informational materials if necessary.

Step 8: Integrate with MealPe

Integrate your meal card management with MealPe for enhanced functionality and ease of use. MealPe provides a unified platform for managing multiple meal card providers, ensuring a seamless experience for both HR and employees.


Corporate meal cards have become an essential tool for companies in India, offering a convenient and cost-effective solution for managing meal allowances. With various providers like HDFC Foodplus, ENKASH, SODEXO Pluxee, HAPPAY, and ZRO offering unique features, companies can choose the best option that suits their needs. Integrating these meal cards with MealPe further enhances their functionality, providing a unified platform for easy management and maximum benefits.

By implementing corporate meal cards, companies can streamline meal allowance distribution, ensure compliance with tax regulations, and enhance employee satisfaction. Employees, on the other hand, benefit from the convenience, security, and tax savings that meal cards offer. Embrace the future of employee meal benefits with corporate meal cards and MealPe, and take your workplace efficiency and satisfaction to new heights.

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