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FINO Paytech to reduce foreign stake to comply with payments bank guidelines


Alternate banking channel FINO Paytech‘s foreign shareholders, such as Intel Capital and Blackstone Group, will have to reduce their stake in the company in order to comply with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) guidelines on payments bank, reports the Economic Times. Earlier this month, FINO along with 10 other companies received an in-principle nod from the apex bank to setup a payments bank.

According to the report, Blackstone owns about 20% of the company, while Intel Capital, Headland Capital Partners and World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) hold 15% each. Its total foreign shareholding is around 70%. We have written to FINO to confirm the numbers and we will update once we hear from them.

According to the RBI’s guidelines, the foreign shareholding in the payments bank would be as per the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for private sector banks. The aggregate foreign investment in a private sector bank from all sources will be allowed upto a maximum of 74% of the paid-up capital of the bank. The guidelines also state that FDI holding in payments banks will be automatic upto 49% they will have to go through approval route beyond 49% to 74%. 

The selected applicants have 18 months to meet the conditions set by the RBI and only then will they get their full licences to commence operations as a bank.

FINO’s other investors include ICICI Bank, Corporation Bank, HSBC Bank, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd, IFMR Trust, Indian Bank Ltd, Intel Inc. and Union Bank Ltd.

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The company claims to have network of over 35000 transaction points covering 60,000 urban and rural areas across 29 states with 30 million customers.

Other developments

– Earlier this month, the company partnered with travel services provider Yatra.com, to let users book tickets on Yatra through FINO Money centres. The platform mentions that this partnership will enable migrants from other towns, people from rural areas and low income households to book tickets on Yatra offline.

– In June, FINO signed a strategic deal with Tata Communications Payment Solutions, which operates the Indicash white-label ATM network in the country. Through this deal, FINO Money Mart outlets will have Indicash ATMs and similarly Indicash locations will have FINO Money Mart points.

– In November 2014, FINO PayTech partnered with ecommerce player Snapdeal to launch assisted e-commerce centres in semi-urban, rural and low-income residential areas across India. Snapdeal planned to set up such FINO PayTech-operated assisted e-commerce outlets or kiosks across 70,000 rural areas in 65 cities by the end of the FY15.

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