Tech giants in talks with NPCI for licence

Tech giants in talks with NPCI for licence

Tech giants in talks with NPCI for licence

Technology giants such as Google Inc, Facebook Inc and WhatsApp among others have approached the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to grant licence for Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-enabled payment on their platforms.

The proposed move is likely to significantly boost digital payments in the country, a top NPCI official said.
“We have sought approval for the social media platforms to venture into the payments space. So that, if these organisations come to us for approval, we will have to approve it, and not go to RBI. Then rolling it out is our responsiblity,” NPCI MD and CEO, A P Hota said on Monday.

Google is in advanced talks with NPCI to integrate its digital payment service, Android Pay, with UPI. The company has completed its discussions with NPCI, which has in turn requested the Reserve Bank of India to consider Google’s application, Hota said.

Once the apex bank grants the in-principle liscense to Google, its app would have to go through the security check by the NPCI, before rolling out. The in-principle licence is expected to come out in one or two months from the Reserve Bank. “The talks are also going on with WhatsApp and Facebook,” he added.

He also said that given the reach of these players, they will aid the government’s target on digital payments, adding “However we don’t have to be dependent on them.”

He also declined any kind of tie up between these technology giants and NPCI for enhancing latter’s reach. While NPCI’s payment interface Unified Payments Interface has 25 million downloads in India, number of Facebook users stand in excess of 213 million in India, with another 200 million WhatsApp users across India.

Google announced the launch of Android Pay in March 2015. The same month, Facebook announced that the company will enable peer-to-peer payments through Facebook Messenger.

Confirming the development, a Google spokesperson told DH, “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.”

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