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May 14, 2024

Zomato Voluntarily Surrenders RBI License for Online Payment Aggregation

Food tech giant Zomato announced on Monday that its subsidiary, Zomato Payment Pvt Ltd (ZPPL), has decided to voluntarily surrender its authorization certificate from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as an online payment aggregator. This strategic move underscores Zomato’s reassessment of its role and competitive advantage in the highly competitive payments sector.

Strategic Realignment in Fintech

“At Zomato, we do not see ourselves having a significant competitive advantage against the incumbents in the payments space, and hence we don’t foresee a business in the payments space as commercially viable for us at this stage,” Zomato stated in a regulatory filing. The company acknowledged that while it was aware of the evolving dynamics in the payments sector, the full impact of these changes became more evident as they neared the operational commencement of their payment aggregation services.

Recent Developments and Regulatory Context

This development follows months after Zomato received the RBI license to operate as an online payment aggregator, effective from January 24, 2024. The Board of Directors of ZPPL has also decided to withdraw its application, dated November 11, 2021, to operate as an issuer of pre-paid payment instruments. Zomato had incorporated ZPPL in 2021 with the intention of entering the payment aggregation and pre-paid instrument issuance market.

Evolving Payments Landscape

In its regulatory filing, Zomato noted significant changes in the payments landscape in India, facilitated by RBI’s initiatives. “Thanks to the RBI’s efforts, the payments landscape in India has evolved meaningfully over the past couple of years since the time we applied for these licenses,” the filing stated. This evolution has resulted in a seamless payment experience for customers, further diminishing the need for Zomato to pursue this business avenue.

Minimal Impact on Core Operations

Zomato reassured stakeholders that the decision to voluntarily surrender the license and withdraw the application will not materially impact the company’s revenue or operations. “This disclosure is being made voluntarily, and there is no material impact on the revenue/operations of the company on account of such voluntary surrender and withdrawal,” the company emphasized.

Quarterly Financial Results

The announcement coincided with Zomato’s release of its quarterly and financial year results ending March. The details of these results were not included in the announcement, but the timing suggests a broader strategic review within the company.

Conclusion

Zomato’s decision to exit the payment aggregation business highlights the challenges and competitive pressures in the fintech sector. By focusing on its core competencies in food technology and delivery, Zomato aims to streamline its operations and maintain its market leadership. This move reflects a broader trend among tech companies to reassess and realign their strategic initiatives in response to evolving market conditions and regulatory environments.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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