Global payments platform Nium to acquire Wirecard's forex unit in India

This acquisition, Nium’s second in just over a month after its acquisition of Ixaris, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the local banking control authority.
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Nium, a Singapore-based global payments platform, on Wednesday announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Wirecard Forex India Pte Ltd – a foreign currency exchange, prepaid card, and remittance service provider in India. 

Wirecard Forex is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India as an Authorised Category II Money Exchange Dealer (AD II), and the acquisition includes Wirecard’s AD II licence. With this license, Nium can directly engage in a variety of payment services activities across the subcontinent, including currency conversion, money transfer, and prepaid card issuance. 

Nium holds the broadest licensing portfolio of any independent payments fintech. It issues approximately 30 million physical and virtual cards today and is licensed in 11 jurisdictions, including direct card issuing capabilities in 24 countries and in 40 currencies. 

Nium's Co-founder and CEO Prajit Nanu

“We’re seeing an accelerated move to digital payments as companies modernise their infrastructure to capitalise on the post-COVID economic recovery,” said Prajit Nanu, Nium's Co-founder and CEO.

“More companies are turning to our global payments stack to embed financial services quickly. This acquisition broadens our licensing portfolio, extends the suite of digital payments services we can offer in India, and provides us with a physical footprint to provide more support in metro areas,” he added.

Nium acquires Wirecard Forex at a time when India’s prepaid card market is expected to boom at a CAGR of 40.5 percent between 2021 – 2026, as per Expert Market Research (EMR) report. Driving this growth is an expected increase in adoption by businesses looking for fast and easy payment processing, payment flexibility, and elimination of delays related to reimbursements. And, as consumer spending returns post-Covid, gift cards, meal cards, travel cards, and payday cards will become increasingly popular with businesses and consumers.

“Nium continues to expand its global operations through strategic acquisitions,” added Pratik Gandhi, Nium’s Chief Operating Officer. “Wirecard Forex has extensive reach throughout India and will enable us to deliver next-generation payment services across all major metropolitan cities.”

Wirecard Forex has 23 branch locations in India, including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Pune, and Bengaluru. Post-acquisition, all of its 190 employees will all join Nium. This acquisition, Nium’s second in just over a month after its acquisition of Ixaris, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by the local banking control authority. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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