French card payments major Worldline, which manages more than 10 lakh merchant terminals in India, is set to expand its presence in the global online payments space, especially in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States, following its acquisition of Ingenico.
The acquisition would help the company get into the next mile, offering a broad set of services beyond terminal business and double its size globally, Vincent Roland, managing director of global merchant services for Worldline, told Moneycontrol.
“It will also help us process new payment methods and push our foray into new geographies,” Roland said.
Worldline acquired Ingenico, another French payment company, in an $8.6 billion deal in early February. Ingenico had a decent presence in Asia-Pacific and the US, which Worldline intends to tap.
Ingenico in 2017 had acquired Mumbai- headquartered TechProcess that considerably enhanced its online payment-processing business in the country. Worldline will now be able to leverage these capacities and expand its play in the online and ecommerce space.
“Going forward, we will be offering an omnichannel payment experience to our merchants and partners, further, as a technology company, we can also provide the entire suite of payment options for banks, thereby opening a new set of business opportunities,” said Roland.
Given that the Indian payments ecosystem had seen a sudden explosion of startups and new players, Roland said there was ample scope for consolidation, something that has already happened in Europe and the US.
Big players like Worldline could take advantage of such opportunities in these markets, gunning for growth without disturbing local services.
Specifically in India, the company is looking at ways to digitise the long chain of the retail merchants. Deepak Chandnani, managing director for South Asia and the Middle East at Worldline, has a multi-pronged strategy to drive this. They are investing in features like easy onboarding of merchants, simplified transaction features with no extra hardware investments and remote resolution of problems.
The company’s new Android PoS terminal YUMI, loaded with multiple features and value-added services, would also be brought to India soon, said Chandnani.
While India was a huge opportunity for global payment players, the government’s mandate for zero MDR (merchant discount rate) on UPI and RuPay cards was a dampener. It was not the best way to grow payments acceptance in the country, as it created an imbalance in the overall ecosystem, Chandnani said.
Roland did not comment on India-specific issue but added that similar discussions around MDR were once held in Europe following which the government capped debit card interchange fee at 0.2 percent.
“Fixing a maximum level could be a good way to regulate the space and India was very close to that,” he said. “It remains a challenge to invest in a country where there is no fee to be made.”
Listed on Euronext Paris, Worldline entered India in 2010 when in acquired Venture Infotek. It went on to buy Chennai-based MRL Posnet in 2017 for around $100 million. It now has a presence in 5,000 locations served through offices in more than 10 cities in the country.
With more than 1.1 million merchant acquiring points, the company claims to process 1.2 billion annual transactions.