FinTech: Indian Conglomerate Reliance Teams With Google, Facebook For National Payments Network
Fintech Infibeam will also play a role.
In a deep-pocketed bid to grab a share of India’s digital payments market, Indian behemoth Reliance (NSE: RELIANCE), fintech Infibeam Avenues (NSE: INFIBEAM), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) have come together to form a “New Umbrella Entity” (NUE). The NUE will bid to set up a payments network to compete with the UPI payments system operated by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI). (Economic Times)
Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year invited new NUE’s to set up a payments network to diversify risks in the sector.
The UPI, operated by the not-for-profit NPCI, is one of the fastest-growing, real-time payment networks in the world. It clocked a record 2.3 billion transactions worth Rs 4.3 lakh crore in January.
A Reliance unit and Infibeam Avenues’ So Hum Bharat will jointly promote the new umbrella entity (NUE). However, Facebook and Google will hold smaller stakes of less than 20% each.
Quoting sources, the Economic Times said the bid by the partners was in an advanced stage.
With only two NUE licenses expected to be granted by the RBI, competition could be tough. Other consortiums that are in the fray are ICICI Bank + Amazon, PayTM + IndusInd Bank, and Tata+HDFC Bank+Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Meanwhile, the RBI extended the bid deadline to March 31 on Friday. It may take up to six months to evaluate all the bids.
“This is the perfect dynamics working out—Reliance Jio wants to expand its partnership further with Google and Facebook (WhatsApp Pay) and the foreign partners would like to get a larger share of India’s burgeoning retail payments market,” said an executive involved in the deal.
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