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Tata Neu Launch: Tata Digital Begins Testing UPI-Based Digital Payments

Tata Neu Launch: Tata Digital Begins Testing UPI-Based Digital Payments

TataNeu is set to launch today, almost two years after it was first announced in August 2020

Tata Digital had applied for a license with NPCI for enabling native digital payments on TataNeu last month

The super app is the first Indian super app to launch, beating the likes of Reliance Jio, Amazon

Tata Digital has started testing digital payments through UPI on Tata Neu, its super app. In a similar way the company tested the app itself, the digital payments system is being tested, in partnership with ICICI Bank, in a closed group made up of Tata employees.

The company has started testing digital payments in a closed group before making the feature available for the rest of the users, an ET report said citing sources.

An email sent to Tata regarding confirmation of the same did not elicit a response.

Earlier, Inc42 had reported that Tata Group might soon step into the UPI ecosystem, currently dominated by the digital payment apps Google Pay, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, Paytm, and WhatsApp Pay.

The company had submitted an application to the National Payments Commission of India (NPCI) earlier last month.

Tata Neu is set to launch today, against the backdrop of IPL 2022, of which Tata is a title sponsor, almost two years after it was first announced in August 2020.

However, at the time of publishing this story, the app still asked users to provide a Tata corporate email address to proceed.

Tata Neu – Two Years In The Making

Tata Neu registration portal, which is present on Tata Digital’s website, put up a banner to signify the launch of the app. The app is still open to invitees and employees only, however, users can register for alerts related to the app by registering.

Tata Digital, which is developing TataNeu, was recently reported to have asked its parent company Tata Sons for funding to the tune of $500 Mn as working capital funds.

Last October, Tata had plans to raise $5 Bn in an institutional equity round and was reportedly in talks with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, SoftBank Group, and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

After Tata Group had said that it will make an ‘interim investment’, Tata Digital looks to have solved most of the issues with TataNeu and has deemed it good enough for a public rollout.

Right now, the app is being tested by more than 700K Tata employees. People who have a corporate email account with Tata are eligible to join the testing, and Tata also generates referral codes and special invites for people to join the beta testing. In all, TataNeu is being beta tested by well over 1 Mn people.

For its super app push, beating the likes of Reliance to the punch, Tata Digital went on a shopping spree. It has, over the last two years, acquired the likes of Grameen eStore, Urja, AccessBell, 1mg, BigBasket, and CureFit.

Recently, Tata Digital has also added electronics chain Croma, in a similar vein to Reliance’s emphasis on phygital. Also, the ecommerce platform Tata Cliq is already a part of Tata Digital.

For the super app push, Tata Digital had also hired Mukesh Bansal, the founder of Flipkart-owned ecommerce platform Myntra, and the current CEO of CureFit, which was rebranded as Cult.fit, who in turn hired several ecommerce executives from the industry to make TataNeu a reality.

Tata Digital has estimated a valuation of more than $18 Bn for the digital entity.

Popularised by the Chinese platform Alibaba, many startups and tech conglomerates are rolling up their sleeves to get working on their own super apps.

In India, Amazon, Flipkart and Reliance Jio are leading the super app race. In addition, conglomerate Adani’s Adani Digital Labs also has an application underway to compete with Reliance Jio’s super app.