UPI battle heats up, Google adds payment option on Play Store

UPI battle heats up, Google adds payment option on Play Store
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6 Sep, 2019

Unified payments interface (UPI) has overtaken card payments in India and platforms like Paytm and PhonePe are battling it out for the payments market share. Amid all this, Google has now added UPI for making payments on its Play Store.  

Customers can use the feature to directly link their UPI ID and use their bank accounts to pay for apps, games, movies, books and other content on the Play Store.

Users can pay using their preferred UPI app including Bharat interface for money (BHIM), Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe.

UPI payments dominated debit and credit card transactions in the financial year ended March 2019, according to data from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

UPI-based transactions clocked 5.35 billion compared to 4.41 billion debit card payments and 1.8 credit card payments in 2018-19. 

UPI, developed by National Payments Council of India (NPCI), is a protocol for money transfer between banks along with national electronic funds transfer (NEFT) and immediate payment service (IMPS) that allows users to send money from one bank to another using a smartphone app.

The new payment option on Google Play will be rolled out in the coming few weeks, Google said in a blog. Users will also be able to transfer small sums from their bank accounts to family, friends and vendors.

UPI has grown over 50 times since its launch in August 2017, clocking 918 million transactions in August 2019 alone, the blog said. 

Google Play currently lets users pay through debit or credit cards, net banking along with carrier payments and Google Play balance.

The feature is available in the updated Play Store version v16.3.37. 

Paytm has processed 1.2 billion merchant transactions in the first three months of the current financial year, The Economic Times reported. 

PhonePe claims to have processed 90 million merchant transactions in August alone, the report said.

While Paytm processes transactions via mobile wallets, UPI as well as its payment gateway, PhonePe is primarily into UPI payments.