Germany’s Payback acquires Indian loyalty card major i-Mint

Germany’s Payback acquires Indian loyalty card major i-Mint

Mumbai: Leading European bonus card services provider Payback has acquired an 86% stake in India’s largest loyalty card provider, i-Mint, in an all-cash deal, a top company official said.

Payback is the card business arm of Germany-based Loyalty Partner, which provides loyalty management solutions through its Payback bonus scheme.

“The acquisition will help us provide cutting-edge services to Indian shoppers and retailers through Payback’s international expertise with i-Mint’s local know-how and pan-India market presence," Payback CEO Alexander Rittweger told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.

Payback, along with Indian private equity firm Peepul Capital, owns a 86% stake in i-Mint. While Payback has a majority stake of a little over than 50%, the rest of the stake is held by Peepul Capital, i-Mint and ICICI Ventures.

Payback has also bought a substantial portion of the stake that ICICI Ventures had in i-Mint. Following the buyout, ICICI Ventures is left with a 10% stake in i-Mint.

Payback, which has sales of €20 billion in Europe, expects a revenue of Rs180 crore from the Indian market over the next 3-4 years.

“India is a very dynamic market with tremendous growth in banking, food retail and telecom. It is also a very price- sensitive market. We want to tap the potential and build a world-class customer retention and direct marketing platform to support the retail revolution in the country," Rittweger said.

Asked about the company’s future plans and investments in India, Rittweger said that Payback will invest significantly in technology, back-end solutions and retail networks. He, however, would not divulge any details.

i-Mint, which has a customer base of 1,500 companies in India, such as ICICI Bank, HPCL, Air India and, also expects to expand its base globally by bringing in more international and national brands.

i-Mint is an unique rewards programme that lets one earn points for the things one does daily, like refuelling, using a mobile phone, traveling, shopping, eating out or watching movies. The points can be redeemed redeemed against an extensive reward catalogue with a variety of gifts or vouchers.