The Move Is Intended To Promote Inclusion Of Small Finance Banks And BBPOUs In The Digital Payments Space
Staying true to its vision of promoting growth in the digital payments industry, the PCI (Payments Council of India) has reportedly on-boarded executives from payments banks and Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOU) as members on its platform.
The council is also planning to open its membership to small finance banks, as part of its efforts to foster an inclusive digital payments ecosystem in the country.
Speaking about the development, PCI Executive Director Gaurav Chopra stated, “We have on-boarded Renu Satti from Paytm, Rishi Gupta from Fino Payments Bank and Porush Singh from MasterCard among a few others as our new members in the executive council.”
The PCI is also in the process of instituting multiple committees to address issues that arise within the country’s online payments space. The council has proposed the creation of a committee for payments and small banks. Apart from this, a committee for existing payment networks and a separate one for BBPOUs were also proposed.
Elucidating further, Chopra said, “The new committees will function in tandem with our previous committees on prepaid issuers, merchant acquirers and international remittances.”
Backed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the PCI was established in 2013 as the representative body for various regulated non-banking digital payments player. It works closely with the Reserve Bank of India to support government missions like ‘Less Cash Society’ and ‘Growth of Financial Inclusion’.
Recent Developments In The Digital Payments Sector
Poised to reach $500 Bn by 2020 according to a report by Google and Boston Consulting Group, the digital payments segment in India has witnessed a sea change in recent times. As per the report, cashless transactions in the consumer payments segment is expected to double to 40% in the next three years.
Already 81% of existing digital payment users prefer paying online to any other non-cash payment methods. Indian consumers are 90% as likely to use digital payments for both online as well as offline transactions.
To capitalise on the industry’s impressive growth, popular messenger Whatsapp has revealed plans to launch payment services in the near future. In June 2017, Whatsapp reportedly approached the SBI and the NPCI for enabling UPI-enabled transactions on its digital wallet. In the same month, Hike emerged as the first Indian messenger app to launch digital wallet service.
Snapdeal’s beleaguered digital payment wallet FreeCharge was recently sold to the country’s third-largest private sector lender Axis Bank for $60 Mn, while Flipkart-Snapdeal merger talks were still ongoing. Around the same time, search engine giant Google was reportedly in advanced talks with the NPCI to integrate its digital payments service, Android Pay, with UPI.
Ecommerce behemoth Amazon poured $20 Mn (INR 130 Cr) into digital payments entity, Amazon Pay India, in July 2017. Earlier in April 2017, Amazon India secured the license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate a prepaid payment instrument (PPI).
In the first week of August, Gurugram-based digital payments company MobiKwik raised $35.2 Mn (INR 225 Cr) from Bajaj Finance Ltd (BFL) by selling 11% stake. As per the latest BSE filing by Bajaj Finance, it stated that it has entered into a subscription agreement with One MobiKwik Systems.
On the other hand, established player Paytm is working to replicate the success of Tencent’s WeChat business model in China, by launching in-app chat services in India. Apart from Paytm, other names in the space include PayU India, Mswipe, CCAvenue, Oxigen, PayMate and MoneyonMobile.
(The development was reported by TOI)