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Google, Facebook and WhatsApp in talks to launch UPI services

He also said that Facebook and WhatsApp too are in discussion with NPCI regarding the launch of their UPI payment services in the country. NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India.

Mail Today Bureau        Last Updated: July 11, 2017  | 09:13 IST
Google poised to roll out digital payments

US technology giant Google has completed the testing of its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payment service and is awaiting RBI approval to roll out its service in the country, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) CEO AP Hota disclosed on Monday.

He also said that Facebook and WhatsApp too are in discussion with NPCI regarding the launch of their UPI payment services in the country. NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India.

"WhatsApp, Facebook and Google are on the way, they are on the job, and the discussions are on. Very soon these three will also get operational,'' Hota told journalists here.

"Quite likely Google would come first, because their testing is more or less complete.. We have written to RBI seeking its approval just two or three days back,'' he said.

As far as WhatsApp is concerned discussions have commenced, it requires a series of discussions. For Facebook, discussions are inpreliminary stage, he added.

While Google is expected to have a separate app with its Android Pay application, Facebook and WhatsApp are expected to integrate with their instant messaging. Speaking at a knowledge session on digital payments in India, Hota said the companies were in discussion with various banks regarding the partnership for roll out after RBI's approval.

Stating that in the UPI each of the banks can have their own application, he said there are fifty banks who are members of UPI and out of them, thirty seven banks have developed their own UPI applications.

Some of the banks instead of applying, have asked their third party service providers to develop the app and make their bank as the acquiring bank. There are 16 such big fin-tech companies including Truecaller, PhonePe and Chiller, he added.

Hota said Google, Facebook and Whatsapp are very big players.. Technically it is feasible, but RBI would have to take a wholistic look. They will have to look whether there are any risks other than the technology thing, he explained.

Expressing disappointment over Indian banks not showing interest towards the opportunity present before them, Hota said, "If our banks bring all their might, there is no need for such players, but our banks do not take interest.

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