Google adds chat feature to Tez mobile payments app

Google integrates chat option on Tez payments app — Economic Times — “Google has integrated a chat option in the Google Tez application and is slowly rolling it out to its 13.5 million active users, taking the competition directly to WhatsApp… The payment application which runs on the Unified Payments Interface railroads will now allow consumers to not only send money to each other but also open up an option for conversation around the transaction.”

Google to add NFC to its Tez audio QR payments platform

Google pay app Tez to add ‘tap n pay’ option — The Times of India — “Users of Google’s Tez will soon be able to load their cards and enable ‘tap and pay’ in the payments app. The internet giant also plans to make Tez payments available for other Google products as well, which means that users in future will be able to make payments through email and see shops accepting Tez on Google Maps.”

Survey: India now has a higher percentage of citizens with a mobile wallet than China

Mobile wallet is gradually displacing cash in India, says GlobalData — GlobalData — “India is one of the top markets globally in terms of mobile wallet adoption with 55.4% survey respondents indicating that they have a mobile wallet and use it. India is followed by China and Denmark… Mobile wallet transactions grew manifold in last five years, rising from R24bn (US$370.6m) in 2013 to R955bn ($14.74bn) in 2017, and will surpass R1tn ($15.44bn) mark in early 2018.”

WhatsApp Payments enters beta testing in India

WhatsApp Payments is almost here, shows up on WhatsApp Beta — Gizmo Times — “The latest WhatsApp beta version has started showing the Payment option in the attachments list. The payments will be through UPI (Unified Payments Interface) but for now, it is only showing the list of banks and also the bank account that is linked, but the account is not getting added. This indicates the final stage of inclusion of WhatsApp payments system on the Android app.”

Ride-hailing app Grab acquires mobile payments startup iKaaz

Grab announces acquisition of Bangalore-based payments startup iKaaz — Grab — “The rich functionality of iKaaz’ mobile payments platform and its experienced leadership team will accelerate feature development and partner integration of GrabPay, Grab’s payments platform. Already Southeast Asia’s #1 ride-hailing platform, Grab is expanding across all markets in Southeast Asia in 2018 with the goal of becoming the region’s universal payments platform.”

India to add face recognition to Aadhaar biometric ID system

Now, face recognition to authenticate Aadhaar, but with biometrics or OTP — Times of India — “To be made available by July 1, the face authentication option will be allowed in combination with fingerprints, or iris scans, or an OTP to verify the details of Aadhaar users… Face authentication will not require any new reference data as photos of citizens are already on the Aadhaar database.”

India adds tokenization to Aadhaar national biometric ID system

Aadhaar adds fresh security layer with 16-digit ‘Virtual ID’ — Times of India — “UIDAI’s Virtual ID, which will be issued from March, will allow over 119 crore [1.19bn] Aadhaar holders to generate a 16-digit temporary number that can be shared with a bank, insurance company or telecom service provider instead of the 12-digit Aadhaar number. All service providers will have to upgrade their systems to mandatorily allow for the new tool from June.”

Alipay pushes into Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Christmas shopping festival

Alipay to hold online 24-hour Christmas shopping festival as part of expansion push — South China Morning Post — “The event will take place in Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the Philippines with Alipay partners in each location: Hutchison in Hong Kong, Paytm in India, Truemoney in Thailand and GCash in the Philippines… As part of the December event, the AlipayHK joint venture has partnered with more than 8,000 bricks-and-mortar stores to offer exclusive gifts, discounts and rewards.”

One in three ‘connected consumers’ in India now use mobile payments

Kantar TNS study reveals the rise of mobile payments in India — Kantar TNS — “Mobile payments have seen a sharp rise with one in three (35%) connected consumers in India using it. The popularity of mobile payments in India is also revealed by the number of regular users, with 23% saying they use mobile payments at least once a week. The results of the study showed that India (35%) is ahead of other APAC countries like Indonesia (9%) and Philippines (7%) but has still a lot of catching up to do with the likes of China (94%) and Singapore (65%) where mobile payments have become a more regular habit.”

Google reports 12m Tez mobile payments users in India

Google for India: Building India-first products and features — Google — “Our India-first mobile payments app Tez has seen huge growth in its first 10 weeks. Tez has processed over 140m transactions from nearly 12 million active users. There are more than 525,000 merchants already on Tez, using it to take payments, pay their suppliers or transfer money to employees… In the coming weeks, Tez will start rolling out a customized experience to pay bills right in the app. More than 70 billers will be supported, including utilities and direct-to-home service providers.”

Paytm CEO sets out plans to become the world’s largest digital bank

Alibaba-backed Paytm aims to become world’s largest digital bank — Bloomberg — “Paytm Payments Bank aims to create the world’s largest digital bank with 500m accounts, envisioning an online financial services provider of everything from wealth management to credit cards and stock market trading… The bank grew out of Paytm’s digital wallet, which amassed over a hundred million customers after India took high-denomination bills — or nearly 90% of the value of cash — out of circulation last November.”

Juniper forecasts 375m NFC ticketing users by 2022

NFC mobile ticketing users to reach 375 million users by 2022, despite a slow start — Juniper Research — “The number of mobile users adopting NFC ticketing will exceed 375 million by 2022, up from an estimated 122 million in 2017. While there is rapid growth in NFC ticketing in European markets, Juniper has scaled back NFC ticketing adoption in many other markets, such as the US, India, and Africa, due to the lack of available services and infrastructure.”

ICICI Bank partners with Paytm to offer instant loans during checkout

Paytm-ICICI Bank Postpaid: Now get instant digital credit in your mobile wallet — BGR — “While checking out, customers will see a ‘Pay Later’ option, and on clicking it, their credit score would be calculated instantly. ICICI Bank will arrive at the credit score based on behavioral data from Paytm, the bank’s own customer data, and financial data from the credit bureau.”

Indian government sets out plans to make digital payments ‘visibly cheaper’ than cash

Govt to incentivise online payments to push digital transactions — Hindustan Times — “The incentives could include cashbacks and reward points for BHIM users… The note presented last week by the ministry of electronics and information technology to Parliament’s standing committee on finance detailed a five-step road map to push e-transactions. ‘Digital payments to be made visibly cheaper than cash,’ the note said.

Samsung Pay reports 2.5m users in India

Samsung Pay service reaches 2.5 million users in India — Android Headlines — “Samsung Pay reached 2.5 million users in India, one million more than it had in mid-September, a company official said on Wednesday… Samsung’s service is presently available on 26 devices in India, up from ten when it officially debuted in the country in early 2017. It’s currently supported by ten banks and seven more local card issuers.”

Paytm to invest US$1bn in building out its payments business

Paytm plans $1 billion top-up to cash in on note ban success — Times of India — “Sharma said they were looking at a three-pronged strategy to double the number of users in the coming year by converting Paytm users to its payments bank, tap into non-wallet users through UPI and sell financial products from next year. ‘Long ago, we realised that standalone payments as a business is an orphan and thus we are building a bouquet of products,’ Sharma said.”

Indian mobile wallet giant Paytm plans expansion to US, Japan and Europe

India’s top payment app has eyes on US market — Wall Street Journal — “India’s largest mobile payment app — backed by the likes of China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp — has its eye on the US, its founder said. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live Singapore event, Paytm founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma said his aim is to expand into developed markets, also including Japan and Europe.”

Facebook’s WhatsApp to offer in-chat payments in India

WhatsApp in-chat payments feature is bad news for digital wallets, payment companies in India — FactorDaily — “Instant messenger WhatsApp is readying an intuitive in-chat payments feature, ahead of a likely December launch in India… This will be the first time that WhatsApp is introducing the payments feature anywhere in the world… The Facebook-owned company has partnered with three banks – State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, three of India’s biggest banks, to launch the feature, FactorDaily has also learned.”

Google reports 7.5m users of its Tez audio QR mobile payments app

Edited transcript of Alphabet earnings conference call — Yahoo Finance — “To help millions of people, we are building products specifically designed for local markets in Asia. In India last month, we launched Tez, a mobile payments and commerce app that already has more than 7.5 million users who have made more than 30m transactions. I’m really excited about the potential this brings for India’s mostly cash-based economy.”

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