Xiaomi expands its Mi Pay mobile payments service to India

Xiaomi announces official Indian launch of Mi Pay — GSMArena — “Back in 2016, Xiaomi launched Mi Pay in China and followed that up by launching a beta trial in India. Testing is finally complete and Indian users get full access to Mi Pay. The platform is built on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in collaboration with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and ICICI Bank and supports more than 120 banks.”


WhatsApp Payments to launch in UK, Mexico and Brazil?

WhatsApp Payments reportedly coming to Mexico, Brazil, UK next — NDTV — “According to WABetaInfo, a prolific tipster of upcoming WhatsApp features, three countries — Brazil, Mexico, and [the] UK — will be getting WhatsApp Payments next… The service was introduced in beta in India last year but is yet to roll out to all users in the country because of regulatory hurdles.”


India to include NFC option in digital driving licences

Traffic violators beware, new driving licences, registration certificates coming from October — The Times of India — “The new DLs [driving licences] and RCs [vehicle registration certificates] will have a QR code that can be read by hand-held devices to access the past records of the driver or the vehicle from the central online database… ‘Though there was a proposal to make the chip and NFC feature mandatory, the Centre decided to leave the option to the state governments,’ said an official.”



Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to launch Brics Pay mobile payment service

Five-currency basket: Brics countries create a single payment service — Izvestia (translation) — “One of the likely scenarios for the project is the creation of a special online wallet that will unite the payment systems of all the Brics countries… The common wallet will work in the same way as existing payment services, such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. To this end, a separate cloud platform will be created that will connect the national payment systems of the five countries.”


Delhi Metro to add biometrics to ticketing gates?

Biometric scans for discounted metro rides in Delhi — The Times of India — “In the new fare collection system, it will be possible to issue smart cards to individuals with their biometric data stored in them, ensuring that only they could use the card and not anyone else. Commuters, who will be provided concession on metro fares, need to get their finger scanned while entering or exiting a metro station, to ensure that only genuine commuters get the benefit of the concession.”


Paytm sets sights on US payments market

Paytm chief eyes dominance in Japanese market as ticket to US — MoneyControl — “After becoming an almost household name in India, digital payments major Paytm has set its sight on dominating the Japanese market, a development that its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma feels will be its ‘ticket’ to the US… ‘If we kill it in Japan, we will get the ticket to go to the big country,’ Sharma said.”







Asian carriers begin rollout of cross-border mobile payments service

Singtel and AIS debut Via, Asia’s first cross-border mobile payment alliance — Singtel — “The Via alliance is the first initiative of its kind to connect both telco and non-telco mobile wallets across borders to create a region-wide payment network that will enable consumers to use their local mobile wallets when travelling. The Singtel Group will progressively expand this alliance to include other regional associates Airtel in India, Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia, working within each country’s regulations, and non-telcos including China’s Ping An eWallet.”


Paytm to test face verification for payments in stores?

Paytm is testing face recognition tool for payments — Economic Times — “Paytm has begun testing a facial recognition tool that can unlock its payments application on a customer’s smartphone, company executives said. It also plans to extend this feature to allow customers to pay at merchant outlets with the blink of an eye… Paytm is testing the facial recognition feature on Google’s Android platform, and according to sources, will shortly roll it out through an app update. Offline payments through face recognition, however, would take longer, they said.”


Google Pay closes payments data sharing loophole

Google tweaks privacy policy for Indian payment app after rival complaint — Reuters — “Google has tweaked the privacy policy of its Indian digital payments mobile application, days after local rival Paytm complained that the US tech giant’s platform allowed disclosure of customer data for advertising and other purposes… Google Pay’s privacy policy had said it could ‘collect, store, use and/or disclose’ personal data and ‘any communications made through Google Pay’. A Reuters review of Google’s privacy policy that was updated on Thursday showed the company had dropped the word ‘disclose’ from its privacy clause.”


Apple Pay hits launch hurdles in India

After Amazon and WhatsApp, Apple orders ‘stop payment’ — The Economic Times — “Silicon Valley giant Apple has shelved plans to launch a Unified Payments Interface-based payments platform in India after landing in a regulatory grey zone that has stalled the full rollouts of similar products by Amazon and WhatsApp as well. Apple put the brakes on introducing Apple Pay in the country despite holding discussions with a few leading banks and the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the UPI platform, said two people with knowledge of the matter.”


Google rebrands its Tez mobile wallet to Google Pay

Building services for every Indian, in their language — Google India — “Since launching our India-first payments app Tez last September, over 22 million people and businesses have used Tez to make over 750m transactions that are collectively worth over $30bn annually. We believe that many of the innovations and features we have pioneered with Tez will work in other countries. To take Tez beyond India, we will be unifying all of Google’s payment offerings globally. As a first step, Tez will now be called Google Pay.”


Eight million merchants now accept Paytm QR payments in stores

Tier II and tier III cities are leading the wave of digital payments adoption — Paytm — “We are powering the largest offline payments network with over 8m offline merchant partners who accept payments via the Paytm QR. We have a 3x larger merchant base compared to any card payments network in the country… This has helped us achieve an annual run rate of 5bn transactions and $50bn GTV (Gross Transaction Value).”


Indian mobile payments firms raised US$1.5bn in funding in 2017

Investors shift focus to mobile payments, last mile payment firms — Business Standard — “Mobile payments alone gathered close to $1.51 billion in the year 2017 through 13 rounds of funding, according to data compiled by Tracxn. Investors say that the money is going beyond wallet businesses now into last mile solutions because the payment systems are maturing and the industry is leaping into the next stage where collaborations happen and solutions are end-to-end.”


Paytm integrates games, TV, sports and news into its mobile wallet app

Now enjoy news, live TV, cricket, entertainment & games in Paytm Inbox — Paytm — “We have added a host of new features to ‘Inbox’, our in-app messaging service that allows you to chat with friends and family and send/request money at the same time. You would now be able to enjoy in-app live TV, news, cricket, entertainment videos and games on-the-go for free.”


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