Axis Bank is in the final stages of acquiring e-wallet platform FreeCharge from Snapdeal for around Rs 400 crore. The private lender said FreeCharge’s technology and features would help the bank in its efforts to lead the country’s online payment sector.
The deal shows a steep plunge in FreeCharge’s value since April 2015, when Snapdeal’s parent company Jasper Infotech had bought the digital wallet for around Rs 2,400 crore. It was the largest deal in the startup sector two years ago. Since then, various companies such as Paytm, Amazon, Airtel and Paypal have expressed interest in buying FreeCharge.
Head of Retail Banking Rajiv Anand told BloombergQuint that access to a payment platform like Freecharge will boost the number of transactions that go through Axis, which will provide the bank with customer transaction data.
“This transaction data will be used by the bank to provide other offers such as credit cards and instant loans,” he said. “Payments is the core of our franchise. The more payments a customer makes with us, the more engaged they are...In that context, FreeCharge becomes imperative. As we make payments simple, the customer makes more transactions with us.”