India’s largest and only profitable telecom operator Reliance Jio has entered the UPI-powered payments space, offering the facility to its over 370 million subscribers, its latest app update shows. As of now, Jio’s UPI payments facility is available for select users but will soon be available to others as well.
The development validates Entrackr’s earlier report that the Mukesh Ambani-led company would launch UPI payments feature joining the race with leading players — Google Pay, PhonePe, Paytm and several others.
It’s worth noting that WhatsApp has been in talks before Jio to launch its payments service. However, the Facebook-owned instant messenger hasn’t received a final nod from NPCI due to uncertainty over data localization and other regulatory hurdles.
Jio, which already has a wallet service under JioMoney, will be the first among telecom operators and second among payments banks to have enabled UPI payments service.
The company has integrated the UPI option in its main app MyJio, which also accommodates popular apps like JioCinema, JioCloud and JioTV. We have verified the UPI payments facility provided by Jio and it works similar to other players in this space.
A user will get virtual payment address (VPA) with UPI handle @Jio after the successful sign-up process. It requires entering mobile number and debit card number attached with the bank account number for generating a UPI PIN.
Queries sent to Jio did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this story. We will update the post once it responds.
It was anticipated that Jio would launch UPI payments service under brand name JioPay. However, it offers prepaid autopay facility under JioPay, which allows Jio customers to recharge their number five days before a recharge is due or after exhausting 90% data. For now Jio’s UPI-enabled payment service doesn’t have a specific name.
The entry of Jio in UPI will trigger competition among existing players such as Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm. The UPI ecosystem has been going through intense competition as PhonePe, Google Pay and Amazon Pay are eyeing to command more market share.
Going forward, it will be interesting to watch how WhatsApp convinces the government and regulators to enable payments service. UPI, which grew by 3X in 2019 as compared to the previous year, is likely to achieve more success on the back of existing and new entrants like Jio and WhatsApp.