Amid the increasing competition between Paytm, Flipkart's PhonePe and Google Pay, all of which are witnessing a rise in transactions on the back of unified payments interface (UPI), Amazon Pay has finally rolled out UPI payments for Android users.
The payment service from e-commerce giant Amazon has partnered with Axis Bank to issue UPI IDs to its customers. It wouldn’t facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, but users can link their bank accounts on Amazon and use their Amazon Pay UPI id to make payments for their everyday needs including recharges and bill payments as well as to shop on Amazon.in.
“This launch is a key step to enable Amazon customers in adopting BHIM UPI as a digital payment method, thereby helping in the government of India’s Cashless India initiative,” said the company in a statement. Amazon Pay also plans to leverage the UPI platform to launch new features to further simplify customer experience and expand into new use cases, the statement added.
“We are constantly working towards delivering an awesome experience for our customers and the launch of Amazon Pay UPI is a key milestone in this journey. This launch will help accelerate adoption of merchant payments on UPI platform.” said Vikas Bansal, director of Amazon Pay.
Vishal Kanvaty, senior vice president of product & innovations at National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), said this association with Amazon is a step in offering consumers more options and seamless experiences while using UPI. “We are excited that millions of customers on Amazon will now be able to make digital payments through UPI to buy products from Amazon’s entire seller base,” he said.
Over the last two years, global companies such as Google, WhatsApp, Ola, Uber and Samsung have adopted UPI to enable transactions. Amazon Pay is a bit late to the party. Samsung Pay integrated UPI in April 2017. Google launched UPI-based Tez app in India in September 2017, which was rebranded as Google Pay a year later. Two of the largest cab aggregating companies, Ola and Uber, also integrated UPI for payments in India in 2017. WhatsApp rolled out its payment services based on UPI in the first half of 2018.
Wallet services, on the other hand, have shrivelled as they struggle to comply with the e-KYC norms. In September 2018, Supreme Court banned private companies from using Aadhaar for completing KYC. Mobile wallet companies such as Paytm and PhonePe are now striving to meet Reserve Bank of India’s February-end deadline to complete verification of all customers.
Meanwhile, UPI transactions crossed Rs 1-lakh-crore (USD 14 billion) mark for the first time in December 2018, according to data released by the NPCI. In December 620.17 million UPI transactions worth Rs 102,594.82 crore were conducted, up from 525 million transactions worth Rs 82,232 crore in November and 145 million transactions worth Rs13,144 crore in December 2017.
According to an Economic Times report, around 672 million UPI transactions were made in January. Paytm clocked more than 221 million transactions, while Google Pay and PhonePe were at about 220 million each.