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Exclusive: Reliance Jio is launching UPI-based payments by Feb 2019


UPI has been disrupting the digital payments landscape in India and it can be gauged from the fact that the NPCI-owned payments railroad had carried out  482.36 million transactions worth Rs 74,978.27 in October 2018.

Leveraging UPI, several payments apps including Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay have been growing immensely. While WhatsApp Pay is still in beta and awaiting government nod for full-fledged launch, Reliance Jio is planning to integrate UPI in its existing app Jio Money.

“Jio has begun early conversation with banks including ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India for integrating UPI-powered payments facility on Jio Money,” revealed two sources aware with the plan. Sources requested anonymity as they aren’t authorised to speak to media.

Besides offering digital wallet, JioMoney also runs a payments bank with a partnership with SBI. “Since digital wallets are finding difficult to scale up because of increasing adoption of UPI, Jio wants to ride on the UPI wave,” added sources.

JioMoney is also seeking approval from NPCI, added sources. Entrackr also has confirmed this independently with sources inside NPCI. “JioMoney also has shortlisted profiles of few people to lead its UPI vertical, revealed sources. Entrackr couldn’t ascertain the name of shortlisted candidates.

Sources indicate that JioMoney would be launching UPI service by early February. Entrackr has sent queries to JioMoney, ICICI and Axis Bank for confirmation. We will update the post as responses come in.

Currently, Paytm dominates the UPI ecosystem followed by PhonePe and Google Pay. Last month, the SoftBank-backed firm had claimed 37 per cent of overall UPI transaction. Despite NPCI’s cap on fake transactions, UPI transaction volume and value maintained its growth in October 2018.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has been waiting for approval from several government agencies to launch UPI-based payment service WhatsApp Pay. To meet Supreme court mandate, WhatsApp had appointed Komal Lahiri as local grievance officer.

With the entry of heavyweights including WhatsApp and Jio, the ongoing competition between existing players is going to intensify. Going forward, it would be interesting to see how they drive the further adoption of UPI.

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