Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Google, Walmart Help Drive India Payments Past 1 Billion Transactions

Stock Markets Nov 01, 2019 05:47AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

(Bloomberg) -- A payments platform created by India’s largest retail banks surpassed a billion transactions in October, a milestone that affirms the tremendous growth of services offered by U.S. giants from Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) to Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL).

Indian digital payments took off when the government pushed demonetization in 2016, invalidating most of the country’s high-value currency notes in a move to curb corruption and push Indians away from cash. The Unified Payments Interface or UPI has now surpassed a 100 million users three-and-a-half years after its launch, thanks to booming smartphone use and wireless data rates among the lowest in the world.

Amazon and Google now vie with local startup Paytm, Walmart-PhonePe and a host of other players in a digital payments market forecast to quintuple to $1 trillion by 2023.

“UPI has had the fastest acceptance rate not just among payment platforms but digital platforms of any kind,” said Dilip Asbe, chief executive officer of the National Payments Corporation of India, which groups the lenders that developed the system. “We aim to expand the UPI base to 500 million users in the next three years.”

UPI sports an open architecture allowing digital wallet apps, payment banks and startups to link freely to its platform. That’s a contrast to the closed systems of China’s dominant services, WeChat and Alipay. It simplifies transactions between apps and banks linked through a biometric ID system called Aadhaar. Regulated by the central bank, it allows the instant transfer of funds between bank accounts through a mobile device using a simple virtual handle, without sharing bank or personal details. UPI’s creators now want to take the platform beyond the country’s borders and allow payments in places like Singapore or the Middle East with a dense population of Indian expatriates.Global tech companies are racking up enormous losses as they battle for a slice of a market forecast to grow to $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion early this year, according to Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN). Between SoftBank-backed Paytm, Walmart’s PhonePe and Amazon Pay alone, collective losses totaled over $1 billion in the financial year ending March, a 167% spike from the previous year, according to the Economic Times. Losses are mounting as they drive further into India’s smaller cities and towns, luring merchants and first-time phone users with cashbacks and financial sweeteners.

All those players aim to get into services like lending as their next move, so they can start making money, said Arnav Gupta, a New Delhi-based digital strategy analyst at Forrester Research. “The market potential in a country of nearly 1.4 billion Indians is massive.”

But competition is set to worsen. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).’s WhatsApp is seeking final approval for the full-fledged countrywide launch of its payments service, which has been in a long-drawn pilot phase with just 1 million users. Experts predict that the entry of WhatsApp into the arena will mark another inflection point because of an estimated user base of more than 400 million.

WhatsApp Payments will be launched “soon” in India, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told investors in a post-earnings conference call this week. WhatsApp is said to be seeking final approval after storing user data on local servers, as mandated by the central bank.

Google, Walmart Help Drive India Payments Past 1 Billion Transactions

Related Articles

Former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain dies
Former Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain dies By Reuters - Aug 13, 2022 10

(Reuters) -Anshu Jain, a top finance executive best known for helping German lender Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) take on the largest Wall Street firms, died overnight on Saturday...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email