COVID has set in an irreversible change, number of digital users to grow: R Srikanth

Updated: June 02, 2021 12:17 PM

Infibeam Avenues Limited, considered a leading global financial technology company offering comprehensive digital payment solutions and enterprise software platforms to businesses and governments across industry verticals, has an early mover advantage.

Demonetisation was the first boost for the growth of digital payments in India.

By Dipak Kumar

Digital payments have been a driving force especially during COVID times. While India already has between 150-175 million digital users, the numbers are likely to reach 2500 million in the next ten years.

Infibeam Avenues Limited, considered a leading global financial technology company offering comprehensive digital payment solutions and enterprise software platforms to businesses and governments across industry verticals, has an early mover advantage. The company processed transactions worth INR 1.4trillion (US$ 19 billion) in FY 21 for its 2.5 million+ clients across digital payments and enterprise software platforms.

R Srikanth, Group President Corporate Finance and Investor Relations spoke to Dipak Kumar on the company’s growth, digital economy and more.

Excerpts of the interview.

How has the digital payment growth been after COVID hit in 2020?

Demonetisation was the first boost for the growth of digital payments in India. Covid has been another catalyst for the growth of the industry. To our estimate, digital payment has increased by 35% and more. More people are learning to use digital payment and are moving toward digital payment usage, as the Covid-19 virus may take some time to be tackled. However, Covid has set in an irreversible change.

There are about 150-175 million digital users in the country. This number is expected to reach 500 million in the next 10 years.

How has Infibeam Avenues grown over the past years?

We started as India’s first listed eCommerce company, and with new opportunities, we ventured into the digital payments space. We have two core businesses, Payments and Platforms, a combination of both as a strategy is a proven model globally, having various examples in countries like the US, China and Japan.

Currently, we are one of the largest digital payment gateway players in the country, with CCAvenue, as our flagship brand. Digital payment and other digital platforms, including enterprise eCommerce software platform is the core business focus. Over 2.5 million merchants are integrated across our fintech platforms. Every day, on average, over 2000 new merchants got registered across our platforms in FY21.

However, we continued to provide enterprise eCommerce software Platform as a service to corporates, assisting them to build & maintain their eCommerce marketplace, and it has been growing by leaps and bound. Government of India’s eCommerce platform GeM and Reliance’s Jio Mart are a few examples to demonstrate our enterprise eCommerce software platform capabilities.

Thus, IAL’s revenue comes from its two core business segments, Payments and Platforms. Payment business contributes 78% to gross revenue, including revenue from our subsidiary Go Payments and 22% comes from the Platform business. In the payment business, approx. 95% revenue is transaction-based revenue, the rest being set-up fee, maintenance fee, etc. Platforms’ revenue is largely license, subscription, maintenance, development, set-up fee, value-added services, and a portion as transaction-based revenue from the GeM platform.

How does Infibeam Avenues globally offer its payment and other digital solutions?

We were the first Indian digital payment company from India to spread our business across the globe. The purpose was to have a diversified geographical business portfolio and thus broaden our business horizons.

We offer almost all of our digital products in our basket, including our flagship product CCAvenue, a gateway payment product. In the Payment Gateway business, we offer 200+ payment options in a single integration to the merchants under various debit and credit payment categories, namely debit cards, credit cards, Net banking, wallets, EMI, UPI, Pay later, etc. We are present in the US, UAE, KSA and Oman.

What are your growth drivers?

Inroads into new markets and international expansion of operation with other digital payment solution offerings including CCAvenue Payment Gateway; New business offerings such as CCAvenue Payment Gateway Services and Neo banking; and Express settlement under secured lending framework.

What are your business projections for the next financial year?

We expect to increase the transaction processing value to US$ 100 billion in 3-5 years from FY22 run-rate of US$ 28 billion.

• EBITDA as a % of Net Revenue to improve from 61% in FY21 to 65% in FY22

• Increase secured lending under neo banking from $100 million to $200 million in FY22

Which are your major clients in India and globally?

Some of our valued clients are Taj Hotel, Airtel, Indigo, Bookmyshow, Myntra, Mobikwik, Paytm, HP, Hyundai, Middlesex University Dubai, Qatar Insurance Company, Axiom Telcom, Radisson, Emaar, DHL, Tommy Hilfiger, Yahoo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and others.

(The author is a Delhi based independent writer. Views are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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