Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL) is planning to sell TimesOfMoney Limited, their remittance services company to UAE based Network International LLC, reports Business Standard. The report also mentions that the business is currently valued at around Rs 700 crore and that BCCL will be exiting at a premium of close to Rs 800-1,000 crore. Previously, livemint also reported the same, however, Network International had declined to comment on any development. Avijit Nanda, CEO of TimesOfMoney, could not be reached to confirm the report.
TimesOfMoney is a wholly owned subsidiary of BCCL that offers digital payment solutions to non-resident Indians (NRIs). Its services includes domestic and global money transfers, e-payments and co-branded cards. It was incorporated as a joint venture between Citi Ventures and BCCL. TimesOfMoney intends to expand its payment services by entering mobile and domestic remittances services. In 2006, it had launched an online wallet service called Wallet 365, eventually stopped by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It had also launched Wallet 365 mobile application in 2006, which used SMS as a bearer.
Network International provides credit and debit cards processing services, ATM sharing and ATM management and manages more than 700 services to more than 42 banks in West Asia and North Africa (Wana). It also offers EMV-certified solutions as institutions migrate to EMV Smart Card technology.
TimesOfMoney offers Remit2India and Remit2Home, money remittance services. The former is an India based remittance service while the latter is global, however, it does not offer money transfer in the domestic market. Recently, TimesOfMoney partnered with Bank of India to offer remittance solutions to NRIs in the UK. The company also offers business solutions like DirectPay, a payment gateway and iExchange, an online remittance tracker. For mobile payments, TimesOfMoney already has a partnership with PayMate, for its DirecPay, for online merchants. In addition to this, it runs Window2India, a retail shopping site and OutRemit, a RBI approved money transfer service offering online tuition fee transfers to educational institutions abroad.
More recently, BCCL had a management restructuring and was speculated to be heading for an Initial Public Offer. BCCL had also got investment bank UBS to advise it on finding a strategic buyer for the business. Within TimesOfMoney, there has been a major management restructuring, with many of the leaders leaving the company – Harveer Singh, responsible for identifying & dealing with partners (service providers and vendors) worldwide recently left the company.
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