Ratan Tata-backed Mswipe Tech looks to morph into digital SME bank

Mswipe Technologies, PoS player which is backed by Ratan Tata Associates promoted fund, is looking to morph into a digital SME bank in next four to five years.

It will be a niche bank focused on small merchants and their needs. As a part of plans, it will scale up value added services like insurance at point-of-sale terminals and micro ATMs, said its new chief executive Ketan Patel.

He succeeds Manish Patel, founder of a financial services platform for SMEs, who will move into the role of managing director. In his previous assignment Ketal patel was the Executive Director & CEO of CASHe, digital lending company for salaried millennials.

Mswipe, which began operations in 2011, is the independent mobile POS merchant acquirer and network provider with 670,000 PoS and 1.1 million QR merchants across the country. It also works as an end-to-end digital enabler of MSMEs.

UC-RNT Fund, an alternative investment fund that partners RNT Associates (Ratan Tata) and the University of California made investment into Mswipe in 2017. The insights from RNT associates and University of California have been useful in building business, Patel said. Other investors in Mumbai-based Mswipe include Matrix Capital Partners, DSG Partners and Epiq Capital.

Patel said at present Mswipe has 670,000 merchants in the network and the idea is to have one million merchants on board before applying for a banking license (Small finance bank). At the same time, the company will focus on building services like micro-ATMs and lending for merchants that would be useful for running a bank.

While it has lending partnerships with financial institutions, Mswipe as an in-terim it scouting for acquiring non-banking companies for engaging into direct lending. It expects to begin lending under NBFC in the second half of the current financial year.

The NBFCs will have equity investment of Rs 50 crore and would build a loan book of Rs 150 crore in the current financial year, Patel said.

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