The newest tech firm to join the UPI bandwagon is Reliance Jio. India’s largest telecommunications provider has unveiled a select consumer UPI payment service. This functionality can be accessed through an update within the MyJio app.
Unlike other UPI-led applications, however, users are unable to use their current UPI ids and will need to create a new Jio UPI I d instead. Interestingly, via Paytm, PhonePe, JioMoney, and the recently launched JioAutoPay (for recurring payments), the MyJio app also allows “hassle-free payments”
The plant is expected to launch widely by the end of 2020. Currently, there are over 370 million subscribers to the Jio network, the highest in India.
Jio’s entry into that space comes at a time when Indian UPI transactions peak. The platform recorded 1.31 billion transactions in December 2019, recording an increase of seven percent over November. To cross Rs 2.02 lakh crore, the total value of transactions increased too. There were a total of 10.78 billion UPI transactions through 2019, a 1.9X increase over 2018. Paytm currently runs transactions with UPI, followed by Google Pay and PhonePe.
With the unprecedented scope of Jio, the pecking order could shift sooner than later. Reliance Jio is also looking to explore possibilities in the consumer payment space in addition to its B2C services. It had launched a PoS app last year which allows merchants to accept BHIM and Jio Money cards and wallet payments.
Once Jio UPI is released from its pilot phase, we could expect it to be enabled at PoS terminals as well. Reliance has reportedly partnered with India’s largest FMCG firm, Hindustan Unilever, to increase retail and Kirana store adoption of devices. Customers simply need to scan a QR code to pay for their in-store purchases.
It is worth noting that WhatsApp was in talks to start its payment service before Jio. Nonetheless, due to uncertainty regarding data localization and other regulatory hurdles, the Facebook-owned instant messenger has not received a final nod from NPCI.
Looking ahead, it will be interesting to watch how WhatsApp persuades the government and regulators to allow payment service. On the back of existing and new entrants like Jio and WhatsApp, UPI, which grew by 3X in 2019 compared with the previous year, is likely to achieve greater success.
Since its inception in 2016, UPI (Unified Payments Interface), one of the fastest-growing digital payment products in the world, has been continuously in the limelight. The NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) initiative to bring digital payments under a single umbrella now ticks all boxes to create a trouble-free platform for over 100 million Indian users.
UPI has seen tremendous growth in its three years of operations on the back of both the presence of homegrown and overseas players in the segment. If we compare the amount of UPI processed year-on-year, it has recorded a total of 187 percent or ~3X jumps of 10,787.54 million or 10.8 billion transactions in 2019.