6 Oct 2023
The alliance of the fintech unicorn with the Guwahati-based small finance bank received a surprise RBI approval. Slice had earlier acquired a 10% stake in the bank.
In a first of its kind deal, credit card offering fintech unicorn Slice is merging with Guwahati-based North East Small Finance Bank (NESFB). The alliance received RBI's nod and announced the merger on Wednesday. Slice owns a 10% stake in the NESFB and has held the Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC) license for five years.
The approval is unprecedented since RBI rarely allows fintech startups to acquire banks and NBFCs to obtain banking licenses. It recently rejected the application of Flipkart Cofounder Sachin Bansal’s Navi to obtain the permit. It was later sold to Svatantra Microfin in August this year for $178.5 million.
On October 31st, 2022, the latest RBI guidelines stopped Slice from selling credit cards, thus pushing the company to crash to zero from the earlier feat of 400,000 credit card sales in a month. As a bank, Slice can now accept customer deposits at lower interest rates.