A ‘miracle’ in India will disrupt e-wallets and incumbents
By Anoop Villait
In March, the National Payments Corporation of India reported that UPI bridged more than 178 million transactions and over $3.7 billion. At this rate, incumbent payment innovators might just get disintermediated themselves.
As countries around the globe endure fragmented payment markets, where citizens and businesses suffer from cash dependency, poor accessibility, high transaction costs and low interoperability between different payment systems, India’s Unified Payment Interface presents a miracle model that other developing economies can emulate, as they look to move away from cash-centricity and overhaul their own payments infrastructure in pursuit of speed, security, auditability and financial inclusion.
India launched UPI in August 2016 to little fanfare as a mobile-based real-time payment system that facilitates interbank transactions. The interface, regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, India’s central bank, instantly transfers funds between two bank accounts via a mobile platform. As an open platform, it can be adopted by any mobile intermediary that wishes to provide an instant payment facility to its customers.
Photo courtesy of Meena Kadri.