Published: Tue, July 11, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

WhatsApp gets nod for UPI payments through multi bank partnerships

WhatsApp gets nod for UPI payments through multi bank partnerships

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.

On the other hand, Google has also put the request to integrate UPI within firm's mobile wallet app Android Pay and is now waiting for an approval from the RBI.

He also said that Facebook and WhatsApp too are in discussion with NPCI regarding the launch of their UPI payment services in the country.

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Google is going to name this app differently as it will be an India-focussed app and is working along with a bank in India to launch their UPI service, according to AP Hota.

Highlighting the nation's target of achieving 25 billion digital payments transactions mark in FY18, Mr Hota said last year, the volume of digital payments was 9.2 billion of which 3.5 billion had been contributed by NPCI, and this year, "we are aiming to contribute about 11 billion digital transactions".

"Quite likely Google would come first, because their testing is more or less complete".

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Google announced the launch of Android Pay in March 2015. Earlier another mobile app Truecaller had entered into a partnership with ICICI Bank for payments using UPI.

Not wishing to give any timeline for the RBI approval to come, Mr Hota said they will also have to look apart from technical things.

WhatsApp might get UPI integration before Facebook if you go by the latest report. Paytm, Airtel, and MobiKwik, among others, are trying to grab a sizeable chunk of mobile payments' users, but they will soon have fight $659 billion-pound gorilla, Alphabet Inc, owner of Google and other Google subsidiaries. UPI-enabled apps allow transfers up to Rs 1 lakh. 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. In a statement, Uber said, "As a technology driven company, we applaud the potential and impact that fin-tech innovations like UPI can make". There are now 50 banks on the UPI Payment service. 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.

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