Joining the digital payment bandwagon in India and eclipsing WhatsApp’s plans, Google is launching a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based digital payment service called Tez on September 18. According to The-Ken.com, on September 18, “Google, Alphabet Inc’s subsidiary, will make an entry into India’s fast growing and super-competitive digital payment ecosystem”.
After the story appeared in the media, Google India sent out an invite for an event in New Delhi on a September 18. “As we continue to make strides in ensuring that our products continue to serve the needs of everyone, we invite you to a press conference to share details on the launch of a new product developed grounds up for India,” the invite read.
This confirms that a Make in India product will be unveiled at the event addressed by Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users, Google. Tez (meaning fast in Hindi) may work like Android Pay. UPI is a payment system launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India which facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform.
The other big player to join India’s growing digital payment market is Facebook-owned WhatsApp. WhatsApp has been in the news for working towards a UPI-based interface on its platform. According to media reports, the leading messaging platform is already in talks with the NPCI and a few banks to facilitate financial transactions via UPI. According to the blog website WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is giving shape to its plans towards bank-to-bank transfer using the UPI system.
Some mobile messaging platforms like WeChat and Hike Messenger already support UPI-based payment services. The infrastructure of digital payments in India is expected to increase three-fold by the end of 2017 with almost five million electronic point of sale (PoS) machines, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has said. “We expect that by December, the number will actually go up to five million PoS, which means that the infrastructure for digital payments is going to grow three times in the short span of one year,” MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.