Fino Payments Bank is in advanced talks for partnerships with 2-3 fintechs as part of its overall efforts to strengthen its digital play and bring its digital offerings to more customers, ahead of it deciding on approaching RBI sometime next fiscal for a small finance bank licence, a top official said. 

“We want to become more digital as it is a growth opportunity for us. We are in advanced stages of discussions with 2- 3 fintechs to offer digital account opening services (CASA). This will help us in A-B-C, which is Acquisition, Balance Build up and Cross Sell. We will be providing the fintechs with account opening APIs and related services to offer to their own customers. 

“Partnering fintechs will bring more customers to the platform. By end of FY23 or Q1FY24, we would be up and running with multiple tie-ups for digital offerings,” Rishi Gupta, MD & CEO, Fino Payments Bank, told businessline.

Digital offerings

The idea is to give more digital offerings to existing customers and also for new prospective ones. Going forward, Fino plans to engage with digitally savvy customers as part of its customer ownership focus aimed at growth and profitability. Customer ownership would lead to cross sell opportunities and idea is to provide all financial services under one roof.

Being a payments bank, Fino is now not allowed to directly offer credit to customers. It has to rely on partnerships for this purpose or convert itself into a small finance bank. Through partnerships, Fino is already doing gold loan, merchant loans and consumer loans.

Gupta, however, declined to share the names of the 2-3 fintechs which Fino is looking to partner, but noted that the payments bank — which has already completed five years of operations —wants to “strengthen” its digital offerings and distribution. 

A few days back, Fino launched its own digital account opening service through its mobile app FinoPay. 

“Because of UPI, we are seeing a lot of people using UPI as payment option.   Nearly 15-16 per cent of my throughput is coming through UPI and digital means. Fino 2.0 strategy is to build our digital play by partnering more fintechs who can help open digital accounts for customers and offer our digital solutions. Fino 2.0 will be a precursor from digital journey point of view in our evolution into a Small Finance Bank”, Gupta said.

Asked to elaborate about plans for conversion into an SFB, Gupta said: “We are looking into the possibility of becoming an SFB seriously. This issue has still not gone to our Board. Filing an application to RBI for conversion into SFB is very much in our radar although timeline is not yet clear or decided,” he said.