The Indian digital payments space is all set to witness the entry of another major player. According to sources, Chinese mobile smartphone maker Xiaomi is ready to launch its payment service, Mi Pay, in the growing Indian payments market.
Xiaomi, currently India’s second-largest smartphone seller, has already conducted trials and testing of the UPI service, and is awaiting RBI approval for the launch, said two sources. The company has currently tied up with a leading private lender in India for system integration, and is looking at more tie-ups once it receives the licence from the banking regulator.
Xiaomi will also be the second such company from China after Alibaba with a deep interest in the mobile payments segment. Alibaba has investments in mobile wallet company Paytm, in which billionaire investor Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway has pumped in ₹2,500 crore.
Xiaomi, however, declined to comment on a query from BusinessLine in this regard. The mobile maker launched Mi Pay in 2016 in China, in collaboration with China UnionPay to provide contactless payments service (NFC technology) through debit cards from 20 different Chinese banks.
However, in India, it will only provide UPI service and compete with existing players such as Google Tez (now rebranded as Google Pay), Phone Pe, PayU and WhatsApp, among others, that are banking on the growth of affordable smartphones, internet penetration and cheaper broadband.
While Google Tez, Paytm and Phone Pe are already claiming to have witnessed massive growth in terms of UPI transactions, Facebook’s WhatsApp Payments, which did a beta test early this year, hit a rough patch over regulatory violations. The Indian government has asked the messaging app to set up a data centre in India and declare the data-sharing agreement it has with its parent company, Facebook.