Google readies its UPI payment before Whatsapp

The NPCI has been tasked with facilitating at least 11 billion digital transactions this fiscal said CEO A.P. Hota

The NPCI has been tasked with facilitating at least 11 billion digital transactions this fiscal said CEO A.P. Hota

Facebook-owned WhatsApp had been in talks with banks for a while now. RBI will be monitoring the security aspects before giving approval. NPCI is an umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India. In the next phase, it will have a wallet integrated into the Uber app. Ola, Uber's local rival, has already integrated UPI into Ola Money, its mobile wallet to pay drivers. Such an integration is technologically possible but we are waiting for the Reserve Bank of India's approval.

NPCI MD and CEO AP Hota has confirmed the development to the newspaper. Hota further adds that the e-commerce giant will not develop its own app, but will instead use a pay button for UPI on its portal.

As per Hota, Google is developing a separate India-focussed app, which it will name differently, in integration with a bank. Considering the fact that Android is a dominant operating system in India with the huge user base.

"We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, for instance Android Pay in some countries, and continually evaluating ways to expand those capabilities to the next billion users", said a Google spokesperson.

The Ken said, "WhatsApp first admitted to being interested in launching payments in February, when its co-founder Brian Acton visited India. For Facebook, discussions are in preliminary stage", is what Hota told PTI.

UPI allows users to transact with multiple banks using a single mobile application. Google and apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook will have a pervasive presence in India. Besides that, Facebook announced peer-to-peer payments on its Messenger app back in 2015.

Amazon is discussing the launch of UPI with a few banks. However, WhatsApp, which is the most popular messaging app in Nigeria, has been known to take its time, and include features only when they are polished. In a statement, Uber said, "As a technology driven company, we applaud the potential and impact that fin-tech innovations like UPI can make".

The number of transactions under UPI was around 26 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year, short of the 40 million target set by the finance ministry, data from the National Payments Corp of India (NPCI), which manages the payment railroad, shows. "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".

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