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Google goes for digital wallet way

Adding to the tough competition in the online payment segment, Google is preparing to introduce its digital wallet, Android Pay , in India this year, anchoring the platform to the government-backed Unified Payments Interface as are other global companies including Stripe and WhatsApp. Google has started testing UPI on its Android Pay platform, said one person aware of the developments and that the Internet giant is aggressively tracking smartphone brands and was evaluating an entry for Android Pay into India through UPI. Another sources, said adding that Stripe-the San Francisco-based startup that allows businesses in more than 100 countries to easily accept all kinds of digital payments -was in advanced talks to launch in India through a partnership with UPI. Last month, AP Hota, managing director of National Payments Corporation of India that developed UPI, said messaging service WhatsApp had shown interest in UPI for the launch of its new payments platform. Chief operating officer at NPCI, Dilip Asbe, said that three global companies had approached the agency in recent months expressing their desire to work with UPI. He declined to identify the companies citing non-disclosure agreements. “They see UPI as a simple, seamless payment option with a mobilefocus, which is what these companies are interested in,“ Asbe said. “If these global players put their weight behind UPI, it will definitely give a big push to UPI to reach 50 million to 100 million users in the next few years. We are expecting that these companies will roll out their UPI products this year.“ “We are always looking for ways to make it easy for people to pay with their mobile devices, such as Android Pay in some countries, and looking to expand those capabilities to the next billion users,“ a Google spokesperson said.

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