China’s Xiaomi is reportedly to launch its payment service, Mi Pay, in India. Having conducted trials and testings of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service, the firm is now just one step away – awaiting RBI approval – from officially become the second Chinese tech company after Alibaba to foray into India’s mobile payment sector.
UPI is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India, which is currently used by mobile payment players in India.
Having partnered one of India’s largest private lenders, plans are already in place for Xiaomi to look for other tie-ups after it gets the license from India’s banking regulator.
Xiaomi is also concurrently looking out for other avenues to deepen its presence in India, the world’s second largest population. For example, just yesterday, KrASIA reported yesterday of Xiaomi’s plan to invest in an Indian train schedule app, alongside Google.
More importantly, India, a country where 85-95% of the country’s 1.3 billion population is still using fiat money as their main mode of payments, offers the market size and potential for tech giants like Xiaomi, Alibaba, Google etc. The sheer number of those who are unbanked could be another factor. With the Indian government and central bank now looking to accelerate mobile payment development, this could be the optimal time for these players to enter the market.
– Xiaomi is making bold moves to replicate its strategy in China to India. In China, Xiaomi sells smart devices, smartphones, and also offers Mi Pay since 2016 to widen its internet ecosystem. And it is now doing the same in India.
– There are already many players in India’s mobile payments market and is set to only get more competitive. Other players include the likes of Google Pay (formerly Google Tez), Phone Pe, PayU and WhatsApp Payments.
– While the India governent is generally supportive, there are still rules to be adhered to. WhatsApp Payments, for instance, was asked to set up a data centre in India and to declare its data-sharing agreement with its parent, Facebook.
Editor: Ben Jiang