As remonetisation picked up the pace in late 2017, digital payments have witnessed the decline and the ‘currency in circulation’ has increased more than two-fold to 19.5 Lakh Crore rupees (as per RBI). Other modes of payment, especially digital payments, have grown steadily for the past many years, however, the adoption is still slow and steady. There are challenges in adoption due to lack of infrastructure, connectivity and POS machines.
As per Credit Suisse, digital payments are going to reach 1 trillion USD by FY2023 from the existing 200 Billion USD (of which mobile payments constitute a bare 10 Billion USD). Mobile payments industry will be a significant factor in driving this growth.
The good news is that cashless payment options such as UPI, Net Banking, Open banking apps, USSD, AEPS etc. have witnessed growth in recent years. Hereby listing 4 technology strong companies that are disrupting the payments space in India and acting as a catalyst in the adoption of cashless payment/contactless payments in the country:
ToneTag: ToneTag is India’s leading sound-based proximity communications and payment service provider that has made massive headway in the global digital payments space.ToneTag’s soundwave technology is on a mission to truly democratize digital payments ecosystem with the idea of supplying an entire Nation a mechanism to use digital payments. The technology harnesses the power of sound to enable payments, facilitating the phone’s speaker/microphone to communicate with the Point of Sale. ToneTag has reached over 50 million consumers across the globe with its cutting-edge Sound Wave technology-based systems and empowered 3, 10,000 merchants. Backed by Amazon, Mastercard, 3one4 capital and Amensa, ToneTag is built to bridge the last mile in financial inclusion and deliver simple cashless payments.
Google Tez: Tez is a mobile payments service by Google, targeted at users in India. It operates atop the Unified Payments Interface, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. It can be used where UPI payments are accepted. Tez works on the vast majority of India’s smartphones (with apps for both Android and iOS) with the Android app supporting English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu with more languages coming soon. Within 37 days after being launched, Tez was able to get 8.5 million installs, this technology does away with the need for NFC chips on the handsets.
WhatsApp Pay: WhatsApp’s payment gateway is based on the unified payments interface (UPI) of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), cutting out the cumbersome intermediary step of loading money onto a wallet. Instead, users can transact directly from their bank accounts using a virtual ID. The Facebook-owned messaging app has its eye on India’s flourishing e-payments pie, slated to grow five-fold by 2023 to $1 trillion, according to investment bank Credit Suisse.
PhonePe: PhonePe is a Fin-Tech company headquartered in Bangalore, India. Founded in December 2015, it provides an online payment system based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which is a new process in electronic funds transfer launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India for issuance and operation of a Semi-Closed Prepaid Payment system. It is a revolutionary way to make mobile payments in India and also provides with a digital mobile wallet for faster refunds and cashbacks from merchant partners.