Google readies its UPI payment before Whatsapp

Google is among the companies looking to acquire a license to enable UPI on their platforms

Google is among the companies looking to acquire a license to enable UPI on their platforms

While Google is developing an India-specific app for UPI-enabled transactions, according to Hota, Uber, on the other hand, wants to allow its users to pay drivers using their choice of UPI-linked accounts. The Reserve Bank of India has to look into it. Facebook and WhatsApp are in preliminary talks as well.

NPCI, which is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, also said Facebook is in discussion with it, regarding rolling out of their UPI payment services. "The talks are also going on with WhatsApp and Facebook", he added. According to reports, the Facebook-owned company was in talks with the NPCI for quite some time, so as to launch its own payments business.

Cashless transactions have been gaining pace in India, and UPI is an easy alternative to mobile wallet payments, plus more secure than card transactions.

Officials told PTI Google could have a separate app with its Android Pay application. Basically, it allows users to make contactless payments using their smartphone at selected retailers.

Back in 2015, Facebook announced peer-to-peer payments on its Messenger app. Besides, Ola had already integrated UPI on its platform in April this year. "Amazon was now testing for the same, while Uber is still conducting the process", Hota told reporters.

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"As a technology-driven company, we applaud the potential and impact that fin-tech innovations like UPI can make".

Amazon is discussing the launch of UPI with a few banks. "They are now talking actively to leading banks now". "UPI is the future of Indian payments and we are proud to be a partner in this monumental mission of the government to facilitate a digital payments led society". The world's largest cross-platform instant messaging app, which has more than 200 million active users in India, is expected to launch its service later this year.

Bloomberg quoted Hota as saying that the regulator targets 250 crore digital payments transactions in 2018.

Overall digital transactions, which in many cases doubled after demonetisation, has corrected and is expected to attain a new normal of around 30-40% growth over transaction volumes past year. With Google's Android Pay, Uber, Facebook, and WhatsApp aboard the UPI gravy train and pushing hard for mobile payments; this number may be well within the reach. This year, "we are aiming to contribute about 11 billion digital transactions", he said.