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Financial Information Network & Operations Pvt. Ltd.
Summary of Proposed Investment
This Summary of Proposed Investment is prepared and distributed to the public in advance of the IFC Board of Directors’ consideration of the proposed transaction. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of IFC’s activities, and this document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the Board decision. Board dates are estimates only.
FINO PAYTECH LIMITED
Commercial Banking - General
Date SPI disclosed
September 7, 2006
Projected board date
October 9, 2006
Invested: June 6, 2007
Signed: March 13, 2007
Approved: March 5, 2007
Financial Information Network & Operations Ltd. (FINO) is a technology company that provides core banking solutions to agencies including micro-financial institutions, co-operative banks and banks (together, Micro Agencies) catering to the low income households. It also provides automated banking, government transfer services and other financial services for the vast un-banked and under-banked population in rural India through a biometrics based authenticated personal card solution. Having recognized that relying on traditional branch banking to cover rural India would be cost prohibitive, ICICI, India’s largest private sector bank, has incubated FINO and completed pilot testing with some Micro Agencies and their customers. IFC proposes to make an equity investment in FINO for expansion capital as the company seeks to scale operations. IFC is also seeking technical assistance grants to support this innovative rural banking service company.
Project sponsor and major shareholders of project company
ICICI Bank is the project sponsor and also a shareholder. ICICI is India's second-largest bank and the largest private sector bank.
Total project cost and amount and nature of IFC's investment
IFC is considering an equity investment in FINO. The project cost for the first year is estimated at $12-15 million and will be financed through a combination of equity and debt.
IFC investment as approved by Board
5 million (USD)
IFC Investment (million USD)
* These investment figures are indicative
Location of project and description of site
The company is based in Mumbai, India. Its services will be extended throughout the country through regional offices and partnerships with Micro Agencies.
Anticipated development impact of the project
- Promote growth of Indian Micro Agencies:
With a robust technology solution, FINO will help Micro Agencies reach a larger population by making the data and credit management process reliable, simpler and cost-effective. Growth of this sector will improve the viability of the Micro Agencies, which in many cases currently lack economies of scale.
- Augment financial services across India:
Most Micro Agencies currently focus on provision of credit to their target market. FINO’s presence would enable provision of services such as insurance, savings, remittances, and government payments. The Reserve Bank of India has recently allowed Micro Agencies to serve as business correspondents through which remittances and other financial services may be offered.
- Increase credit to underserved segments in rural and urban India:
The absence of a reliable information, efficient distribution mechanism, and effective financial controls has constrained credit flows across India. FINO offers an efficient, scaleable solution to improve cost effectiveness and reliability of customer data for Micro Agencies, enabling them to attract capital for lending across underserved segments in India.
IFC's expected development contribution
- Market adoption:
To expand its scope of services and clients, FINO seeks to establish an arms-length relationship with ICICI. Management believes that IFC’s role as a trusted intermediary would help FINO establish the independence necessary to encourage the banking community in India to more broadly adopt FINO’s product.
- Technical assistance and capability building:
The services offered by FINO are unique to the Indian market. Many Micro Agencies and their customers require training to use the technology solution offered by FINO. Management believes that IFC support through its technical assistance program would accelerate adoption of the FINO solution and thus provision of banking services in underserved markets.
- Early stage financing:
Limited financing is available for start-up technology related companies like FINO. NASSCOM, India’s software association, has asked IFC to help promote growth in the software industry by investing in early stage technology companies. An investment by IFC would fill a gap in the market and enable FINO to reach a stage where funding options are more plentiful and, if successful, improve the prospects of similar companies in search of early stage financing.
Environmental and social issues - Category C
IFC's early review of this investment has identified the following environmental, social, health and safety issues: fair, healthy and safe working conditions and fire and life safety which will be reviewed during appraisal.
Performance standards that are expected to be applicable for this project may therefore include:
- PS2: Labor and Working Conditions;
- PS4: Community Health, Safety and Security.
Based on this early review, the project has been provisionally categorized as C.
For inquiries about the project, contact:
Rishi Gupta, Chief Financial Officer
Financial Information Network & Operations Pvt Ltd
Ground Floor, South Tower, East Wing, ICICI Bank Towers
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Mumbai 400051, INDIA
Te: +91-22-6696 7087
For inquiries and comments about IFC, contact:
General IFC Inquiries
IFC Corporate Relations
2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20433