Google wants US Fed to replicate India's UPI model

In this regard, Google has written a letter, along with a white paper, to the US Federal Reserve, who was seeking the comments by industry players on the same, highlighting the benefits of the UPI-based system. Photo/AFP

American multinational technology company Google wants the US Federal reserve to replicate India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for online digital payments.

Developed in 2016, after a push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, the UPI is an instant, real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India facilitating inter-bank transactions. The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.

"We've been pretty vocal that we believe the right model for driving digital payments is through a partnership between banks, governments & tech companies through open and standards-based infrastructures like UPI," Caesar Sengupta, general manager & vice-president, Payments and Next Billion Users at Google wrote on the microblogging website Twitter.

In this regard, Google has written a letter, along with a white paper, to the US Federal Reserve, who was seeking the comments by industry players on the same, highlighting the benefits of the UPI-based system. 

“Google partnered with regulators and the payments ecosystem to launch Google Pay. This helped drive and scale UPI usage through the Google Pay app, which currently has 67 million monthly active users,” Google said in a white paper.

Earlier in the month of August, the Fed had announced that it would develop a new interbank 24x7x365 RTGS with integrated clearing functionality to support faster payments in the United States. The Fed Board asked for comments on FedNow by November.

Operating atop the UPI platform, Google has developed a mobile payment service called Tez, targeting the Indian users. The UPI interface, in the month of November, facilitated 1.2 billion transactions worth Rs 1.89 lakh crore. 

"After just three years, the annual run rate of transactions flowing through UPI is about 10 per cent of India' GDP (gross domestic product), including 800 million monthly transactions valued at $19 billion," said the letter, written by Mark Isakowitz, vice-president, government affairs and public policy, US and Canada, Google, and marked to Ann Misback, secretary, board of governors of the Federal Reserve System.

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