Axis Bank, India's 3rd largest private sector bank, has entered into an agreement with Jasper Infotech Private Limited to acquire 100 percent stake for $60 million (Rs 385 crore) in its subsidiaries namely FreeCharge Payment Technologies Private Limited and Accelyst Solutions Private Limited, which together constitute the digital payments business under the "FreeCharge" brand.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to conclude by the end of September 2017.
Currently, the bank offers key payment modes like mobile banking, credit cards, debit cards, forex cards, UPI payments.The bank has been driving digital acceptance and has established the second largest merchant network with over 4,33,000 PoS (point of sale) machines. Axis Bank has been actively participating in market leading payment innovations through partnerships with Samsung Pay, Kochi Metro, and BMTC.
Shikha Sharma, CEO of Axis Bank said, "The acquisition of FreeCharge re-affirms Axis Bank's determination to lead the journey of digitization of financial services. We expect FreeCharge to contribute significantly in our aspiration to serve the digital native and mobile-first young consumers of India."
Kunal Bahl, Snapdeal Co-Founder & CEO said, "The Axis FreeCharge combination is a potent one that has the potential to make a large impact on the digital payments and banking space. It is a win-win deal that allows Snapdeal to further focus on our core e-commerce business while giving Axis some of the agilest and innovative technology capabilities in the financial services space in India."
Freecharge claims to be having 50 million registered wallet users and over 2,00,000 merchants and it has that nearly 75 percent of its users are under 30 years, with 85 percent of active users accessing their financial services from a mobile device.
This acquisition is expected to help the Bank take a significant step towards digital distribution of financial products. The platform provides access to agile customer-facing technology, which will help the Bank to serve its existing customers better and approach new digitally native customers in an efficient manner.