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Report: India’s Adani Exploring eCommerce and Payments Business

India’s Adani Exploring eCommerce and Payments Business

Indian conglomerate Adani is reportedly in discussions to enter the eCommerce and payments space.

The company is considering applying for a license to take part in India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) network, the Financial Times (FT) reported Tuesday (May 28), citing unnamed sources.

Adani is also talking with banks to finalize plans for a co-branded credit card and negotiating to offer online shopping via India’s state-supported eCommerce platform, the Open Network for Digital Commerce, per the report.

“There are just three business conglomerates running this country — the Tatas, the Ambanis and the Adanis,” Jayanth Kolla, a Bengaluru-based technology analyst, said in the report. “Adani is the one of the three groups which does not have significant consumer-facing businesses.”

The new services would be offered through Adani One, the company’s consumer app, which debuted in late 2022 and already provides travel services such as flight and hotel reservations, the report said.

Adani did not respond to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The moves would let the company compete with Google and India’s Reliance Industries. Google last month announced it was investing in Flipkart, a Walmart-backed Indian digital commerce company. Weeks earlier, the tech giant opened its digital wallet to users in India.

These companies are vying for consumer attention in a country that has been on a “digital payments journey” for the last 15 years, as PYMNTS wrote in late 2023.

PYMNTS Intelligence found that digital wallets are now the preferred payment method for 55% of retail purchases in India, with 80% of wallet users opting for UPI.

Meanwhile, India is expanding its real-time payments functionality by establishing interoperability of digital payment systems for internet banking. The launch is expected later this year, and the goal is to facilitate faster fund settlements for merchants.

“Currently, internet transactions processed through payment aggregators (PAs) are not interoperable, as banks must integrate separately with each PA for different online merchant partners,” PYMNTS wrote in April. “This requirement has proven difficult for bank staff to manage, especially considering the vast number of merchant partners each bank has.”

In addition, the absence of standardized payment systems and rules for each PA has led to payment delays and more security risks, problems the interoperability initiative aims to solve.