UPI, Aadhaar payments to push next digital wave

Mumbai: Startups in India’s payments space have been the talk of conferences and discussions across the globe. After the rise of mobile wallets like Paytm, it was the NPCI driven BHIM app that is drawing attention. As the discussion on UPI versus wallets ensues, experts say it is UPI, Aadhaar based payments that will push next wave of digital adoption.

The demonetisation drive gave impetus to adoption of e-wallets like Paytm. This year brought a formidable competitor to e-wallets in BHIM app. Built on the United Payments Interface (UPI) interface, BHIM offers a one-for-all app that facilitates payments in an easy and quick manner.

Data released last week by the RBI shows that value of transactions carried out through UPI for the period Feb 1-19 at Rs 1,310 crore, were higher than that of mobile wallets at Rs 1,270 crore.

Chillr cofounder Sony Joy said, “That surge was an interim phenomenon. Users are realising that a lot can be done using the mobile banking app. At the end of the day, wallet requires an extra step of transferring funds from bank account to wallet.”Chillr offers a multi-bank mobile payment app, through which users can transfer money to anyone in their phone book.”IMPS was the backbone of our product. We are now beta testing around UPI,” added Joy.

It’s not just interbank transfers that can be done using UPI. With 15-20 million estimated UPI users, Nikhil Kumar, head of the developer ecosystem at India Stack and the mind behind the BHIM app says the government is now looking at digitising its own payments. “People are beginning to ask why UPI can’t be used to pay their electricity and gas bills, tickets on IRCTC. The government is questioning its own departments on use of UPI,” he said.

Sanjay Swamy, managing partner with AngelPrime and the man behind startups like ZipDial and Ezetap, says Aadhar and India Stack is the next gold rush.

“In the next 36 months, I expect digitisation to go up from the current 3-5% to 15-20% on the back of UPI, Aadhaar based payments and wallets,” said Swamy, at the sidelines of Fintegrate, a fintech conclave held in Mumbai, where 20 personalities were recognised as those who created an impact in the fintech space.

Besides Joy, Kumar and Swamy, prominent faces like Adhil Shetty of Bankbazaar, Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm, Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Nandan Nilekani with the India Stacks initiative, feature on the list.

“Through the F20 list, we are recognising the achievements of Fintech’s foremost change-makers across the continuum of the ecosystem that includes policymakers, entrepreneurs, corporates and community leaders,” said Ajay Ramasubramanian, director, Zone Startup India.

In curation of the list, the change-makers were evaluated on multiple parameters based on their initiatives, social and fintech ecosystem Influence, age, digital impression and recognition. PwC acted as the research audit partner, Indian School of Business was the research methodology partner, while ResearchFox Consulting managed the market research.

“These are not just awards. The idea is to have a ready reckoner of people who truly understand the fintech landscape, who have created an impact. For those keen on working in the area of fintech, this is a list of people they must know,” said Ramasubramanian.