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Amazon begins testing of UPI-powered payment feature within a closed group


Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has turned out to be the battlefield for payments companies as well as global Internet behemoths. After Google and Truecaller, WhatsApp and Amazon have also made it a priority to launch payments app over the NPCI-owned digital payments railroad.

While WhatsApp has been waiting for regulators nod for mass roll out of its UPI version – WhatsApp Pay, Amazon has begun testing of the payments product within a restricted user base. The company is working with Axis Bank for its UPI-powered payments app.

Although even after testing, Amazon can’t launch the service as apex banking body – Reserve Bank of India – recommended offshore tech firms to store payments related data inside the country. It will have to wait for a green signal from RBI with a proper action plan on data storage.

WhatsApp has been desperate to get a nod from regulators for opening its payments product for all. As of now, it’s restricted for usages to a million users only.  

Having its own payment product makes a lot of sense for Amazon that witnessed 60 per cent of its transaction driven by digital payment modes in 2017.

If Amazon complies with regulators’ mandate and launches its UPI-powered payments plus fund transfer product, it will start competing with Paytm, Google Pay, Flipkart-owned PhonePe, MobiKwik, and a few others.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industry-owned Jio is preparing to integrate UPI into its existing app Jio Money soon. In November, Entrackr had exclusively reported about Jio’s plan for UPI.

Ever since its launch in April 2016, UPI has been witnessing tremendous growth. Last month, it crossed 600 million transaction mark worth Rs 1 trillion.

While Amazon won’t be allowed to launch UPI-powered product till it complies with data localisation diktat, it would be interesting to see how it heats up the game for others when it goes for full-fledged launch.

The development was reported by ET citing anonymous sources.

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