Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is ready to foray into digital payments landscape, along the lines of Samsung, Google and Apple. The company during the launch of its latest smartphone and smart TV said that it will also launch OnePlus Pay, a digital payments service.
Szymon Kopeć, the head of the Software Product Growth division at OnePlus said, “There’s a very fantastic product we’ve been working on for a little over a year now. I couldn’t be more excited to tell you guys that starting sometime next year, you will no longer need your physical wallet as we are announcing OnePlus Pay.”
The company hasn’t divulged many details about these plans but Kopeć said that the company will bring something that the Indian market has not seen so far in the digital payments sector.
With a debut set for 2020, there’s some speculation about OnePlus Pay being an alternative to Google Pay and other UPI-based services, but Kopeć saying that users won’t need a physical wallet could also mean a cards-plus-wallet service with tokenization.
OnePlus entered the Indian market in 2014 as a mid-tier premium smartphone brand, and has quickly risen to become a notable challenger in the premium segment (smartphones priced over INR 30K), competing with Samsung, Apple and others.
OnePlus Cloud Launched
Further amping its game against Samsung, Google and Apple, OnePlus Pay is another addition to the increasingly competitive payments landscape. But OnePlus is also entering the cloud storage business with OnePlus Cloud for users of OnePlus devices.
The service will be available for OnePlus 7T users and will reach the OnePlus 7 series with the Android 10 update. OnePlus Cloud will require users to login with their OnePlus Account ID and access online storage on OnePlus servers.
With OnePlus Cloud, users will be able to create device backups similar to how it happens with Google Drive. Users can store photos and videos from the OnePlus Gallery app. However, OnePlus will only offer 5GB cloud space as standard and as an introductory offer, users will get an additional 50GB data for the first year.
OnePlus Invests Big In India
OnePlus recently announced its commitment to invest INR 1000 Cr over the next three years in its India operations with a focus on R&D. The company launched its research and development facility in Hyderabad last year, which works on the development of India-specific software features for the company’s OxygenOS Android UI.
According to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, the Indian smartphone market saw the highest-ever second-quarter shipment of 36.9 Mn in 2019. In terms of growth, the $400-$600 segment had the second-highest rate with 16.3% YoY growth in Q2 2019 — OnePlus led this segment with a 63.6% share opting for the newly launched OnePlus 7 series.
At the same time, Samsung had a 22% share, while Apple was at 20%. The company is also looking to increase focus on offline store expansion to boost sales of its premium phones in a market where 95% of all handset sales are budget-level smartphones.
OnePlus is now looking to expand its brand stores in India to 25 by 2020. With the jump into digital payments landscape, OnePlus is looking at challenging mobile wallet players such as Paytm, PhonePe, Amazon Pay etc. According to NITI Aayog’s “Digital Payments (2018 edition)”, India’s digital payments industry is estimated to grow to $1 Tn by 2023. It also suggested that the value of digital payments will likely jump from the current 10% to over 25% by 2023.