Visa investment aids BillDesk in India

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Seeking a stronger foothold in the growing India payments landscape, Visa has made a minority investment in digital payments platform BillDesk.

The companies did not disclose terms of the investment, but The Times of India reported five months ago that Visa was looking to invest about $250 million into the Mumbai-based payment gateway.

BillDesk, which had been rumored to be seeking a buyer, opted for a funding round to keep operating as one of India's largest platforms for online payments and bill payments. The company says it processes more than $60 billion a year.

BillDesk provides online bill paying and management services to individuals and businesses, linking payments to bank accounts or card accounts. It will work with Visa to roll out new payments and loyalty products, as well as expand into new markets.

"This investment further reinforces our long-term commitment to India’s digital payments growth story," Chris Clark, regional president of Asia Pacific for Visa, said in a press release.

The deal, which pushes BillDesk's valuation to $1.5 billion, is subject to statutory approvals.

Both Visa and Mastercard have seen their market share in India come under pressure from the country's domestic payments network, RuPay. Earlier this year, Visa cut its debit fees in the country to boost small-business card acceptance.

Mastercard has complained to the U.S. government about the behavior of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming he is using nationalism to push RuPay, while also expressing concern over the country's data storage rules that call for transaction information to remain in the country.

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