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Hitachi Payment evaluating M&A opportunities: MD

Hitachi Payment Services is evaluating opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, managing director and cash business chief executive officer Sumil Vikamsey said.

The company has set up an in-house incubation hub to evaluate potential targets, including small startups.

“We are always open to exploring innovative solutions that synergises with our capabilities,” says Vikamsey.

In late July, the company announced that it would acquire the cash management business of Write Corporation. The transaction is awaiting closure. More recently, Hitachi Payment announced the launch of an UPI-only ATM, in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

The company will likely operationalise these white-label ATMs in early 2024. In essence, the ATM will enable customers to do card-less cash withdrawals through the Unified Payments Interface.

“We plan to start deploying the UPI ATM in our white-label ATM estate in locations where UPI is prevalent and the requirement for cash as a mode for payment still prevails. We will also offer this solution to customers of our partner banks,” Vikamsey said.

While he declined to disclose a target for deployment of ATMs, he is confident that the company will hit the market “at scale”.

Hitachi Payment is also working on an interoperable card-less cash deposit facility that will run on UPI rails. The product is currently at an ideation stage.

“As of today, you can withdraw your money from any ATM. However, barring a few banks, you cannot deposit your money at cash recycler machines,” he said, adding that a full-fledged deposit interoperability is required for the cash recycler infrastructure to reach its full potential.

Currently, 15 entities have adopted interoperability of cash deposit. Of these entities, nine are cooperative banks, five are state-owned banks and one is a white-label ATM operator.

“Along with interoperable card-less cash withdrawal, we can also look at interoperable card-less cash deposit. This is still in an ideation stage,” Vikamsey said. The company will work with ecosystem providers like the NPCI to launch this offering.

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