Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Amazon to support UPI-based Payments

Technology giant Google has completed the testing of its Unified Payments Interface payment service

Managing Director and Chief Executive A.P. Hota, Google is in advanced talks with NPCI to integrate its digital payment service, Android Pay, with UPI. NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India.

He also said that first, the Quite likely Google would come as their testing is larger or less complete... Google and apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook will have a pervasive presence in India. According to a PTI report, Google is awaiting Reserve Bank of India's approval to launch its service in the country. "Such a move can make a difference as these companies can bring in volumes", Hota told Mint.

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

Google announced the launch of Android Pay globally in March 2015. Essentially, it allows users to make contactless payments using their smartphone at selected retailers. Google Android Pay is similar to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay and could boost service If UPI is included in it. "They are talking actively to leading banks now", Hota said. The government launched BHIM app which transfers money between different bank accounts. Considering the fact that Android is a dominant operating system in India with the huge user base.

Hota, CEO and managing director of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), told reporters at conference in Bengaluru on Monday that Google has nearly completed testing its UPI (Unified Payments Interface)-based payment service, which allows fast and easy transfer of money from one bank account to another through mobile.

"Apart from acquiring customers, we have also focussed on enabling our key merchant partners to accept UPI-based payments". Besides, Ola had already integrated UPI on its platform in April this year. He added that Amazon was currentl testing for the same, while Uber is still conducting the process.

"As a first step, we will look at offering our riders the option to use their existing UPI IDs to pay for their Uber rides", he added.

Amazon is discussing the launch of UPI with a few banks. Rival Flipkart has UPI-enabled mobile payments solution PhonePe in its kitty. WhatsApp, which has plans to foray into payments business, has been in talks with banks such as Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, the report said. For all these tech giants, for getting the next millions and billions on their platform, India plays a major part.

"The nation has taken a target of achieving 25 billion digital payments transactions mark in 2017-18".

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. This year, "we are aiming to contribute about 11 billion digital transactions", he said.

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