MUMBAI : Focusing on high margin verticals in the face of the pandemic-related setbacks on the mainstay remittances business helped Fino Payments Bank deliver handsome operating profit in the June quarter, a top company official said on Thursday.
The unlisted entity recorded an operating profit of ₹11 crore in the first quarter, as against a loss of ₹3.5 crore in the year-ago period, despite the shutdown, migrants moving back to their hometowns from cities and a gradual recovery towards the end, its MD and CEO Rishi Gupta said.
Revenues were impacted and trended lower than the preceding quarter.
“Remittances went down very sharply, but we benefited from higher-margin developments like higher deposit accretion, micro ATM and cash management services, and Aadhaar-enabled payments services (AEPS),” Gupta told PTI.
When compared with March, the last three months have seen an increase of 20 per cent in deposits as people are saving more, remitting less and getting money from the government schemes into their accounts, he said.
The period has also seen 30 per cent jump in volumes from micro-ATMs and AEPS, 10 per cent rise in the number of customers having current and savings accounts, and 22 per cent jump in the number of merchants enrolled with the bank.
He said the remittances have recovered as the migrants have started coming back to places of work, but still the volumes are only 60 per cent of the pre-COVID-19 levels.
It added 45,000 merchants to its platform during the quarter as against an average of around 25,000 per quarter earlier, he said, attributing the same to more interest in alternative income sources in the rural economy and also return of tech-savvy migrants to villages.
Going ahead, Fino Payments Bank will focus more on selling credit products through its network of merchants on behalf of partners among banks as well as non-banks, he said.
The second quarter should result in difficulties in the otherwise resilient rural economy as the COVID-19 infections go up, he said, but added that early trends for July and August suggest Fino’s business has not been impacted.
It is not looking to raise capital, but will be open for a strategic or financial investor to come forward, Gupta added.