Hitachi is moving into the merchant acquiring business, buying a 26% stake in SBI Payment Services in India.
SBI, as the largest state-owned commercial bank in India, has more than 420 million customers and more than 6,00,000 POS terminals and is today the largest merchant acquirer in the market in terms of terminals through its subsidiary SBI Payment.
Hitachi, which claims 55,000 ATMs and 850,000 POS devices under management in India, has been providing deployment, technology and management services for the card and digital acceptance payment network of SBI since 2011, running over 70% of the bank's current network.
Under the new agreement, the two companies will forge a joint venture with the aim of establishing a card acceptance and future ready digital payments platform for India within the context of the Government's Digital India initiative.
Rajnish Kumar, chairman of State Bank of India, comments: "At 2500 PoS per million people, the penetration of payment acceptance infrastructure is still low. With this JV, we aim to grow the payment landscape by providing a frictionless modern digital payment platform to our customers. In Hitachi Payments, we see a long-term business and technology partner that has the ability, capability and willingness to develop the broad vision of SBI which is tied into the success of the digital payment imperatives of the country."