India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank is planning to spin-off its automated teller machines (ATMs) and point-of-sale (PoS) terminals into a different entity. The bank also plans new stakeholders in this arm and has invited bids from private equity funds and banking technology companies, reports Economic Times. Those in the race include Visa, FSS, Total Systems Services, KKR-owned First Data Corporation, Blackstone-CMS joint venture, Kubera Partners-backed Venture Infotek, among others.
Visa, a paymet service provider, is interested as Reserve Bank of India is planning to launch Indiapay which will rival Visa and Mastercard. ICICI Bank has the second-largest ATM network, after State Bank of India, with more than 4,000 machines. Its PoS network, which
accept credit and debit card payments, is the largest with over two lakh terminals.
Hiving off the unit will help ICICI Bank expand its network faster. The bank will be the first spin off its ATM assets, a move that other banks might follow. Some other banks like SBI have outsourced ATMs from Tata Communications and TCS, while Bank of India, United Bank and
Dena Bank have outsourcing deals with Fidelity National Information Service.
Also from April banks will have to allow access to customers from any ATM in the country, and the fee for cash withdrawal will be eventually abolished from then on.