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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Finablr acquires Indian digital payments firm to capitalise on e-commerce growth

India's digital payments sector to grow five-fold to $1tn by 2023, according to Credit Suisse

The company, which is owned by Indian-born businessman BR Shetty, processed more than 150 million transactions in 2017 through its network. Ravindranath K / The National
The company, which is owned by Indian-born businessman BR Shetty, processed more than 150 million transactions in 2017 through its network. Ravindranath K / The National

Finablr, the parent company of UAE Exchange, acquired India's digital payments firm TimesofMoney from Network International to capitalise on the growth of e-commerce.

The deal will allow TimesofMoney, which will be integrated into Finablr's network, to accelerate its growth in India and expand into new markets, according to a joint statement from the companies on Wednesday. They did not disclose the value of the deal.

"The acquisition of TimesofMoney represents a strategic move for us," Promoth Manghat, executive director and chief executive of Finablr, said. “TimesofMoney has established itself as a category-leader in India’s digital payments sector, which continues to demonstrate robust growth buoyed by the popularisation of e-commerce and the digitisation of the country’s economy."

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Finablr, the holding company behind foreign exchange and payment companies such as Travelex, is planning to list on the London Stock Exchange "when the time is right," Mr Manghat told The National in June. The company, which is owned by Indian-born businessman BR Shetty, processed more than 150 million transactions in 2017 through its network that includes Xpress Money, Unimoni, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych.

Credit Suisse estimates the value of India's digital payments transactions industry-wide will grow five-fold to $1 trillion by 2023, led by the growth in mobile payments.

Global remittances grew 7 per cent to $613 billion in 2017 from $573bn in 2016, according to the World Bank.

The top remittance recipients in 2017 were India with $69bn, followed by China ($64bn), the Philippines ($33bn), Mexico ($31bn), Nigeria ($22bn), and Egypt ($20bn).

While global remittances are expected to grow 4.6 per cent to $642bn in 2018, long-term risks include stricter migration policies and increased regulation of money transfer operators to reduce financial crime, the World Bank said.