Fintech firm Nium acquiring Wirecard Forex unit in India

The leading global payments platform Nium has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wirecard Forex India Pte. Ltd, an Indian provider of foreign currency exchange, pre-paid cards, and remittance services, according to the press statement.

Speaking on the development, Prajit Nanu, Nium’s co-founder, and CEO said “We’re seeing an accelerated move to digital payments as companies modernize their infrastructure to capitalize on the post-COVID economic recovery.” 

“More companies are turning to our global payments stack to embed financial services quickly. This acquisition broadens our licensing portfolio, extends the suite of digital payments services we can offer in India, and provides us with a physical footprint to provide more support in metro areas,” he said.

This acquisition came at a time when India’s prepaid card market is expected to boom at a CAGR of 40.5% between 2021 – 2026. It is an expected increase in adoption by businesses looking for fast and easy payment processing, payment flexibility, and elimination of delays related to reimbursements. And, as consumer spending returns post-Covid, gift cards, meal cards, travel cards, and payday cards will become increasingly popular with businesses and consumers.

It has marked the Temasek Holdings Ltd.-backed fintech startup’s entry into the Indian market, where it will directly engage in a variety of payment services activities such as currency conversion, money transfer, and prepaid card issuance.

Nium has the most comprehensive licensing portfolio of any independent payments fintech. It currently issues around 30 million physical and virtual cards and is licensed in 11 jurisdictions, with direct card issuing capabilities in 24 countries and 40 currencies, the company claimed.

“Nium continues to expand its global operations through strategic acquisitions,” added Pratik Gandhi, Nium’s Chief Operating Officer. “Wirecard Forex has extensive reach throughout India and will enable us to deliver next-generation payment services across all major metropolitan cities.”

This is Nium’s second acquisition in less than a month, following the acquisition of Ixaris. It is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the local banking control authority. The transaction’s financial terms are not being disclosed.

Wirecard Forex is an Authorized Category II Money Exchange Dealer (AD II) licensed by the Reserve Bank of India, and the acquisition includes Wirecard’s AD II license.

In India, the company has 23 branch offices in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Pune, and Bengaluru.

Furthermore, as a result of the acquisition, all 190 of its employees will join Nium.

Wirecard has sold some of its subsidiaries in Brazil, the United States, the Philippines, and Europe since August 2020. It processed Rs 1,200 crore in forex payments in FY20.

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