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Empays Payment Systems Gets Indian Government Approval For Raising $4.47M In FDI

Empays Payment System India Pvt Ltd, which has set up a Multi- Bank Payment system using the Instant Money Transfer System (IMT) along with Axis Bank last year, has received an approval from India’s Based on Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for raising Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Rs. 27.50 crore (approximately $4.47 million at current rates) to further its IMT services.

Instant Money Transfer (IMT) is a mobile based domestic remittance service which allows a banks customers to transfer money to any recipient, on the basis of their mobile number. The recipient can then withdraw money from any ATM.  irrespective of whether he has an Axis bank account or not. In September 2010, Empays had launched the service with Axis Bank. At the time of writing this story, the company’s website appeared to be down, but an AngelList page for the company  states that the company was funded by Axis Bank.

According Axis Bank’s website, the amount of cash that can be sent through IMT is limited Rs. 10000 per transaction and the receiver limit is set at Rs 25000 per month. Although the system is supposed to allow receivers without an Axis bank account to receive cash, it still requires them to submit documents, as per the KYC norms. They are also required to register their mobile numbers with the bank.

In December 2010, Idea Cellular had signed up as a Business Correspondent for Axis Bank, to use its telecom network to enable branchless banking, and enable mobile payments and remittances. The pilot project for this was supposed to be powered by Empays Payment Systems, for enabling mobile remittance between Mumbai’s Dharavi, one of the largest slums in the world, and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. There has since been no update regarding this pilot, and there isn’t much information about Empays online.

Apart from this, the company’s Angelist page indicates partnerships with Bank of India and Central Bank of India (updates dated 2012), and the founder Ravi Rajagopalan’s LinkedIn page suggests that Empays had partnered with State Bank of India. Note that we’re not in a position to independently verify this information.

Other FDI’s approvals: Government of India has also approved FDI in Cable Wireless Pvt Ltd and Multi-Screen Media Pvt Ltd. However, the amount of investment in these two companies is not clear. It is also not clear how the funds will be utilized.

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