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14 Sep 2017

Google to launch digital payment service in India next week?

Google to soon launch UPI-integrated platform in India

If reports are to be believed, Google is launching a localized digital payment service in India as early as next week.

Modeled on Android Pay, the new service called Tez ('fast') will be launched on September 18. It will support UPI as well as other payment services like Paytm and MobiKwik.

However, Google hasn't yet commented on the reports.

In context

Google to soon launch UPI-integrated platform in India


What is UPI?

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is a digital payment system that allows people to send and receive money through mobile phones.

It's one of the most ambitious projects of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and aims to bring a significant change in the way mobile banking transactions are done.

UPI will be inter-operable across 29 banks and will enable instant payment transactions.

Big firms

Global players joining the UPI race in India

Last month, Uber integrated UPI on its app for payments in India. Rival Ola integrated the interface as early as April.

Amazon has refused to officially comment, but reports say it is talking to banks. Flipkart integrated UPI but payments are on halt amid pressure from banks and NPCI.

WhatsApp is in talks with banks. Facebook might also join the list soon.

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How will the entry of global players change things?

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How will the entry of global players change things?

Till now, private players have tied up with single banks for UPI integration. With the entry of global players, the NPCI is exploring multi-bank utility for the first time.

According to NPCI CEO AP Hota, single-bank processing isn't preferable for these giants as "such large volumes going through one bank will not be good".

"Multi-bank will drive competition between banks as well," he adds.

What's in the future?

The Ministry of Electronics and IT expects the infrastructure of digital payments in India to grow three times in a year, by 2017 end. Almost 5mn point of sale (PoS) machines will be added by then, MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.

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