Google Targets India’s Mobile Payments

India, already a mobile payments market marked by heavy hitters such as Paytm and Airtel, is proving alluring for Alphabet via Google and several of its subsidiaries. reports news that, as noted by AP Hota, CEO and managing director if the National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI), the eCommerce giant is nearly done testing its UPI payments service, allowing for mobile money transfers between banks.

The site stated that Google is among the first international companies to bring a UPI-based mobile wallet platform to market. An unnamed Google spokeswoman stated, “We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, for instance Android Pay in some countries, and continually evaluating ways to expand those capabilities to the next billion users.”

One impetus to mobile wallet adoption has been the demonetization that marked the end of 2016, when the Indian government removed roughly 86 percent of the country’s currency from circulation. That has benefitted firms such as Paytm, which have added users in droves, and merchants too, as mobile payments gain traction. The entrance by Google into the market means that Paytm and other firms more entrenched in the market now have greater competition.

Also, Amazon is looking to bring bill payments there through Amazon Pay. Said Hota, further, “the nation has taken a target of achieving [a] 25 billion digital payments transactions mark in 2017-18. Last year, the volume of digital payments was 9.2 billion, of which 3.5 billion had been contributed by the NPCI. This year, we are aiming to contribute about 11 billion digital transactions.”