An online payments acquisition has taken place in Bangalore, India this week, with the announcement that Snapdeal, one of India’s largest e-commerce firms has bought mobile-payments company FreeCharge for a rumoured to be $450 million.
Mumbai based FreeCharge claim to have over 20 million customers who primarily use the site to pay household bills and top up mobile phones. This was no-doubt a factor in Snapdeal’s purchase of the firm, as they aim to connect with more customers through smart-phones. Snapdeal currently offer a wide-range of products to its 40 million users and 100,000 merchants.
The acquirement takes place in a country with a fast-growing economy and an appetite to expand their mobile payment market. India is Asia’s third-largest economy and has also seen the amount of internet users soar than 300 million internet users at the end of last year. That number is set to double in the next five years with the rise in the use of smartphones.
Consumers in India have a growing interest in online retail, with over half of FreeCharge’s customers storing their payment details online. The purchase of FreeCharge is only one in a long line of acquisitions, with Snapdeal previously snapping up two online marketplaces, as well as buying a majority stake in RupeePower, a digital financial-products distribution company.
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