There have recently been new pieces of information regarding this from multiple sources. One source said that Google has already started testing UPI on its Android Pay platform while a second one who’s tracking smartphone brands stated that Google was analyzing the launch of Android Pay in India through UPI. One and the same thing.
Android Pay was launched in 2015, first in the U.S and since then, has introduced the service in many countries including UK, Russia, Australia, Singapore and Japan. In all of these countries, the digital wallet has successfully partnered with several banks to enable users to make quick and easy in-app as well as contact-less transactions through the app.
According to a third source, Stripe was in advanced negotiations to enter India through a partnership with UPI. Stripe is a San Francisco-based startup that enables several businesses across a 100 countries to accept any kind of digital payment with ease.
In April, AP Hota, the managing director of National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) — the developer of UPI — had revealed that wildly popular messaging service WhatsApp has shown interest in using UPI to launch its new payments platform in the country.
Further, Dilip Asbe, who is the chief operating officer at NPCI has told Economic Times that the agency has been approached by three global companies wanting to work with UPI in the past few months. However, he could not reveal the names because of non-disclosure agreements.
He said, “They see UPI as a simple, seamless payment option with a mobile focus, which is what these companies are interested in. If these global players put their weight behind UPI, it will definitely give a big push to UPI to reach 50 million to 100 million users in the next few years. We are expecting that these companies will roll out their UPI products this year.”
There has been no comment on this matter from Google or Stripe. The only thing a Google spokesperson said was, “We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, such as Android Pay in some countries, and looking to expand those capabilities to the next billion users.”
Google recently announced a payment Application Program Interface (API) which will allow all Android phones to make digital payments. This is in tandem with catering to the needs of the Indian market, which is still aiming to be fully cashless.
UPI, which is backed by the Indian government uses bank accounts to enable feast and easy transactions. It was propelled forward recently with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to urge people to make cashless payments. According to data from NCPI, there were about 6.9 million transactions that were carried out through UPI in April alone.
Android Pay’s entry into the Indian market will follow the likes of several other companies including Truecaller– which launched a UPI- based mobile payment solution using ICICI Bank, Samsung Pay, which went live with UPI last month, and Indian messaging startup Hike Messenger — set to launch payments soon through UPI.