BPCL buys 21% stake in FINO PayTech for Rs251 cr

State-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on Friday picked up a 21 per cent stake in FINO PayTech for Rs251 crore.

FINO PayTech, a payments technology solutions provider to banks, financial institutions and Micro Financial Institutions, has been granted in-principle approval by the Reserve Bank of India to start a payments bank.

BPCL has entered into an agreement for acquiring the stake on fully diluted basis in the share capital of FINO PayTech for a consideration of Rs251 crore in an all cash deal, BPCL said in a BSE filing.

It will give the payments bank access to BPCL's fuel outlets and LPG customers who receive subsidy in bank accounts through direct benefit transfer.

 "Leveraging the existing synergies will strategically benefit and fuel growth for both FINO and BPCL. The extensive reach of BPCL distribution allows FINO Payments Bank to substantially improve its reach, especially in rural India. On the other hand, BPCL will be able to offer a variety of payment bank products to its customers and partners," FINO PayTech chief executive officer and managing director Rishi Gupta said in a release.

This partnership will bring about differentiated banking for the first time. In another first, an oil marketing company has associated with a financial services company in this venture.

FINO PayTech and BPCL would come together to develop a payments ecosystem for millions of BPCL customers and fleet operators, leveraging on each other's synergies and capabilities, the release said.

 "BPCL plans to leverage its marketing network to participate in the financial inclusion initiative in the country even as it offers convenience to the customers based on the evolving trends in the payments arena.

 "BPCL is in the process of rolling out various customer service initiatives in its core retail fuels business using the emerging technology solutions. This investment provides an excellent base for supporting and strengthening these initiatives," a BPCL spokesperson said.

 This partnership coupled with the impending launch of the payments nank by FINO PayTech offers a platform for providing customised offerings to different segments of customers and thereby drive the business of fuel and non-fuel offerings, the spokesperson added.

 FINO PayTech is among the eigth remaining payment bank aspirants who have received in principle nods and will be competing against biggies like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Aditya Birla Nuvo and Paytm.

The payments technology solutions provider's standalone profit after tax (PAT) for 2014-15 stood at Rs9.99 crore and revenue was Rs218.95 crore.

FINO PayTech has presence across 28 states covering over 500 districts through 28,500 transaction points.