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Airtel acquires mobile payment startup YTS Solutions

ytssolutions

Bharti Airtel has acquired the Mumbai-based mobile payment startup YTS for an undisclosed amount. Post acquisition, Airtel Mcommerce Services Limited (AMSL) will integrate the payments and remittance businesses of YTS Solutions. Additionally, the company has appointed Manish Khera, MD & CFO at YTS, as the new CEO of AMSL.

Post acquisition, Airtel will use the platform to expand its portfolio in mobile payments segment and will introduce new products targeted at migrants in urban areas that have families in rural towns and villages.

Founded in 2013, YTS offers various B2B payment solutions like wallet solutions, eKash Solutions for loan payments, MoSaPay for micro salary payments and Phatse for online payments. On the B2C side of things the platform offers Tez solution for money transfers and other solutions for loans, insurance, mutual funds etc. As of now, the platform partners with Union Bank, RBL Bank, redBus, Unicel, PayU and BillDesk among others, to offer these solutions.

Payments Bank license: Airtel Money parent AMSL, which already has a prepaid payments instrument licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), applied for a payments bank license earlier this year. The company had said that if it gets a payments bank licence, Kotak Mahindra Bank would pick up 19.90% stake in AMSL. This is most likely a strategic partnership and they might get expertise and leverage from Kotak Mahindra Bank.

Airtel Money results: Airtel Money‘s total value of transactions in Africa grew 31.4% to $2.9 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 from $ 2.2 billion in the same period last year. The total customer base using the Airtel Money platform increased by 76.4% to 6.2 million as compared to 3.5 million in the corresponding quarter last year while the total number of transactions during the quarter has grown by 72.2% to 156.8 million as compared to 91.0 million in the same quarter last year.

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Other developments at Airtel:

– Last month, Airtel India became the number one operator whose call drop complaints (31) flooded the TRAI this year (up to 30 June), followed by Vodafone (17) , Idea Cellular (10) and BSNL (10). This was the response given by Telecom minister RS Prasad to the Lok Sabha. According to the data released by the Cellular Operators Association of India(COAI), Airtel added the highest number of GSM connections in June 2015, taking its connection base to 230.66 million.

– The same month, Bharti Airtel entered into exclusive talks with Orange to sell its businesses in four African countries: Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and Sierra Leone. The company also raised $1.3 billion from the sale of mobile towers in five countries in Africa to Helios Towers, IHS Holding Limited and American Tower Company.

– In the same time frame, Airtel India, along with Vodafone and Reliance started implementing mobile number portability (MNP) as of last month. The telecom operators will allow customers to retain their number when moving between states except customers shifting to J&K, Assam and the North East.

– In June, we reported that India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel was now the third largest telecom operator in the world with 303.1 million subscribers, according to data published by World Cellular Information Service(WCIS). As per Bharti Airtel’s Q4-FY15 quarterly report (pdf), it has 310.88 million total customer base.

– In May, Anand Chandrasekaran, the product chief at Bharti Airtel, stepped down from his post at the telecom operator. Chandrasekaran confirmed this move and said that he planned to do something entrepreneurial in India. However, later in June, he joined Snapdeal as its chief product officer.

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