India’s Pine Labs eyes $4-5 billion in monthly payments volume from new business

MUMBAI, Aug 5 (Reuters) – India’s Pine Labs is targeting $4 billion to $5 billion in monthly transactions within two years for its new online payments business, its chief executive told Reuters.

At that point, online payments should contribute 20% of revenue, Pine Labs chief executive Amrish Rau said, disclosing the company’s targets for the first time since it entered online payments.

Valued at $5 billion and with investors including Mastercard (MA.N) and Singapore’s Temasek, Pine Labs has for years provided point-of-sale machines to offline merchants for card payments.

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Last year, it launched Plural, a service to process online transactions in the country’s booming payments market.

Rau said Plural was currently processing $380 million in transactions monthly, but that would grow 10 to 15 times in the next two years. The monthly transaction value would be $4 billion to $5 billion, he also said.

In the first 10 months, Plural had bagged the online transaction processing business of new clients including Samsung India and Apple’s Indian resellers, Rau added.

“Offline payments (business) is much more difficult than online and we have already cracked that. Merchants expect high transaction success rate from online payments. We can give any competitor a run for their money,” he said.

Digital transactions make up 40% of all transactions in India’s fast-growing payment space, according to Boston Consulting Group. A government push for people to pay digitally is helping to drive the rise of digital transactions.

Indians made card payments worth $22.6 billion in May 2022, nearly twice as much as a year earlier, according to central bank data.

Pine competes directly with other payment gateways such as Sequoia-backed Razorpay, which is valued at $7 billion, and Prosus-owned PayU.

For Pine Labs, competition will remain stiff, as rivals offer similar services and are already well established.

“Everyone provides the same service, so differentiation is very difficult in the long run,” said an executive at a rival payments firm who declined to be named due to business sensitivities.

Pine Labs is trying to lure customers by offering a processing fee 10 to 12 basis points lower than some rivals’, according to an industry source with direct knowledge.

The company is currently clocking around $200 million in annual revenue, the source added.

Rau did not comment on his fee structures or revenue.

The company will evaluate a stock market listing in coming years, after raising more than $1 billion from investors in the past 15 months.

“Markets are still trying to find their feet in terms of high interest (rates and) inflation. So, on the question of IPO, we can probably evaluate later,” he said.

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Reporting by M. Sriram; Editing by Aditya Kalra and Bradley Perrett

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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