The Anticipated Indian Acquiring Market

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

As international players and investments rush into the Indian card acquiring market, the card acceptance space in the country is expected to grow rapidly, according to an article published in the Times of India.

The number of establishments accepting card payments is expected to grow several fold with specialist payment firms making large investments in the electronic payment space.

The business of merchant acquisition – the process of installing credit card swipe machines in stores – has seen a surge in activity in the last two years with specialized institutions coming in. In 2010, ICICI Bank farmed out its merchant acquiring business into a new company which it sold to First Data Corporation of the US for $80mn. Subsequently, Atos Worldline acquired card transaction processing company Venture Infotek for $ 100mn. This was followed by a three-way joint venture between State Bank of India, Visa and Elavon Corporation to set up a merchant acquiring business with a target of half a million pos machines.

The overall payment card market in India is still relatively small, partially due to the limited banking infrastructure and the large population living outside of the few major cities like New Dehli and Mumbay. But regulators are working with the industry to try to provide broader banking and financial services to its over 1 billion residents.

Desportes (Marc-Henri Desportes, EVP, Atos) said that the government and Reserve Bank of India initiative to install mobile bank branches using point of sales terminals attached to a printer and communication device was a game changing initiative. “We are discussing with our banking partners, which way we can propose our services” said Desportes. Bankers are excited with the prospects of getting unbanked customers into the banking fold However, many bankers say that there is a minimum break-even level of transactions required to install POS machines.

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