Reliance partners with Google, FB for bid for digital payment network

Reliance partners with Google, FB for digital payment network bid

The Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is partnering with Facebook Inc, Google and fintech player Infibeam will set up a national digital payments network, the Economic Times newspaper reported Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

Last year, India’s central bank invited companies to forge new umbrella entities (NUEs) to create a payment network that would rival the National Payments Council of India (NPCI) system as it would reduce concentration risks in the space. tries to reduce.

Founded in 2008, the NPCI is a non-profit organization that counted dozens of banks as shareholders as of March 2019, including State Bank of India, Citibank and HSBC. It processes billions of dollars in payments every day through services that include interbank money transfers, ATM transactions and digital payments.

Leading Indian business magazine Economic Times quoted three unnamed sources and said the group led by Reliance and Infibeam is in an advanced stage of submitting their proposal to the Reserve Bank of India.

An Infibeam spokesperson declined to comment on the report, saying the company was bound by the confidentiality of the process, while Reliance, Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a 2019 study by Assocham-PWC India, digital payments in India could reach $ 135.2 billion by 2023.

Facebook and Google already partner with Reliance and have their own interests in Jio Platforms – the entity that houses Reliance’s music and movie apps and telecom operations.

The RBI this week extended the deadline for all parties to submit NUE applications from February 26 to March 31.

According to the report, the RBI is expected to take another six months to consider all submitted proposals and is not expected to issue more than two new “for-profit” NUE licenses.

The RBI did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier media reports have said that parties to the fray include a group led by Amazon and ICICI Bank; another combination led by the country’s salt-to-software conglomerate, Tata Group, and private lender HDFC Bank; and a company involving India’s largest mobile payment platform, Paytm, domestic ride-sharing company Ola and IndusInd Bank.

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