Money & Banking

Fino Payments Bank to more than double merchant points by FY23

K Ram Kumar Mumbai | Updated on January 21, 2020

Rishi Gupta, Managing Director and Chief Executive, Fino Payments Bank

Aim is to improve access to banking, says MD & CEO Rishi Gupta

Fino Payments Bank (FPB) is working towards ramping up its network of ‘merchant points’ from the current 4 lakh to 10 lakh by FY23. The aim is to ensure customers don’t need to travel more than 300 metres to access its services, against the average 1 km they travel now.

FPB’s merchant banking points, which are usually local shops equipped with interoperable micro-ATMs, offer services such as cash deposit/withdrawal, opening new bank accounts, domestic money transfer, bill payment, recharge and travel booking.

Ease of operations

Rishi Gupta, MD and CEO, observed that though the number of new accounts opened (including under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) by banks has jumped over the past few years, the infrastructure (branches, ATMs and point-of-sale terminals) to service these account holders has not kept pace. “When we are looking at building our business, we are looking at the real problems that people are facing...What we realised is that ease of access to banking is a bigger problem than opening a bank account,” he told BusinessLine.

“On an average, Fino opens 80,000-1,00,000 bank accounts (savings and current) a month. Our focus has always been to increase the access to banking points across the country,” he further said, adding that FPB continues to invest $3-4 million a year to upgrade technology.

Besides operating businesses such as jewellery, mobile and grocery stores, FPB’s merchant points double up as banking outlets. With cash availability being a problem in rural areas, these points can dispense money generated by their own businesses. This way, the cash gets recycled locally. Also, unlike banks, which have regulated business hours, these points don’t have any.

Local ecosystem

“We are totally embedded in the local community. Our merchant out there is an important part of the local ecosystem. Our customers want CSR — convenience, simplicity and respect. So, we work on that principle,” emphasised Gupta.

“We have a particular ‘DTP’ DNA — Distribution has helped us to scale up very fast, Technology has helped us to stabilise and Partnerships have helped us to grow.”

When FPB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fino Paytech Ltd, launched operations in June 2017, it used to log monthly transactions of ₹1,500 crore, said Gupta, adding that in October 2019, the monthly transaction volume crossed ₹10,000 crore.

Fino Paytech’s investors include Bharat Petroleum (strategic partner), ICICI Group, Blackstone Group, IFC, Intel Capital, LIC and Union Bank of India.

Published on January 21, 2020

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