Bank gets Freecharge for a song

The DQWeek (Mumbai) - - REGIONAL NEWS - DQW NEWS BU­REAU Mum­bai

Axis Bank has snapped up Snapdeal’s dig­i­tal pay­ments plat­form Freecharge for $60 mil­lion. The sum is 85 per cent lower than what the e-com­merce com­pany had paid to ac­quire Freecharge back in 2015.

The coun­try’s third largest pri­vate sec­tor lender said it had en­tered into a share pur­chase agree­ment with Jasper In­fotech Pvt Ltd (Snapdeal) to ac­quire 100 per cent of Ac­celyst So­lu­tions Pvt Ltd (Ac­celyst) and Freecharge Pay­ment Tech­nolo­gies Pvt Ltd, sub­ject to the re­ceipt of reg­u­la­tory ap­provals, in­clud­ing from the RBI for Rs 385 crore.

Among the two, Ac­celyst is en­gaged in pay­ment pro­cess­ing ser­vices, while Freecharge Pay­ment Tech is en­gaged in the busi­ness of op­er­at­ing pay­ment sys­tem for semi-closed pre­paid pay­ment in­stru­ments

Freecharge was ac­quired by Snapdeal in 2015 for $400 mil­lion.

The e-tailer has been look­ing to sell the pay­ment ser­vices plat­form for al­most a year now. Re­port­edly, other en­ti­ties that in­cluded Paytm and Ama­zon had ex­pressed in­ter­est in Freecharge.

“What we are ex­cited about is its tech plat­form, its ca­pa­bil­i­ties, cus­tomer base and the brand. We’d cer­tainly like to con­tinue with the brand,” Axis Bank manag­ing direc­tor and CEO Shikha Sharma told re­porters to­day. Freecharge has 5.4 crore reg­is­tered users with 70 per cent of them un­der 30 years. Axis Bank has 2 crore sav­ings bank ac­count hold­ers.

Shikha Sharma, CEO, Axis Bank

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