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WhatsApp gets NPCI nod for UPI payment tie-ups with banks; Google awaiting RBI okay

Whatsapp has got permission from the National Payments Corporation of India to tie up with banks to facilitate financial transactions via Unified Payments Interface, according to a report in The Times of India.

UPI, laucnhed by NPCI, is a mobile application that helps quick transfer of money through a mobile device round the clock. The customers can access multiple bank accounts through a single mobile application.

NPCI MD and CEO AP Hota has confirmed the development to the newspaper. WhatsApp, which has plans to foray into payments business, has been in talks with banks such as Axis Bank, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank, the report said.

A woman walks past a logo of Google at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2015 in Beijing, China, April 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon  - RTX1ALF0


Google too completed the testing of its UPI payment service and is awaiting the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) approval to launch its service in the country.

NPCI, which is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, also said Facebook is in discussion with it, regarding rolling out of their UPI payment services.

"Very soon these three will also get operational," Hota was quoted as saying in a PTI report.

Officials told PTI Google could have a separate app with its Android Pay application.

According to Hota, there are 50 banks who are members of UPI and out of them, 37 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.. Truecaller, PhonePe, Chiller- there are sixteen such big fin-tech companies," he added.

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

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

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."

Highlighting the nation's target of achieving 25 billion digital payments transactions mark in FY18, 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."

Also admitting that the growth has come down and plateaued, he said, "Unless it is picked up it will be difficult and digital payments needs to be propagated very strongly.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Jul 11, 2017 13:29 PM

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