By 14 May, 2009

 India's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank, which had decided to hive-off its point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, has shortlisted three candidates to partner with. A Mint report states that the three candidates shortlisted are Visa Inc., Total System Services Inc. and Global Payment Inc.

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ICICI Bank's PoS network, which accepts credit and debit card payments, is the largest in the country with over two lakh terminals.

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The report adds that PoS terminals are valued at Rs 500 crore, and the joint venture partner will pick up a stake of around 80%. The deal is likely to be finalised in a month's time. About 25 players were in the race, including FSS, First Data Corporation, Blackstone-CMS joint

venture, Venture Infotek, etc.

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Card transactions in India are presently routed through Visa or Mastercard. But the National Payments Corp. of India, on behalf of central bank RBI, is developing a payment gateway, which give competition to the two.

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ICICI Bank's PoS business had been making losses. The venture employs around 120 people, who will transferred to the new company when the deal is done. The bank had earlier planned to hive-off both ATM and PoS terminals, but decided to go ahead with the latter only. Its ATM

network is also one of the largest with more than 4,000 machines.

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ICICI Bank has previously built businesses and hived them off to successful companies. These include 3i Infotech, a mid sized IT company, which started as its registrar and transfer services arm. Another is BPO services firm Firstsource, previously called ICICI

Onesource.

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