Reliance, Google and Facebook to build new payments network in India

Reliance, Google and Facebook to build new payments network in India

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Reliance Industries is rumoured to have partnered Google and Facebook to develop a new payments network in India.

According to the Economic Times, the three will specifically create a New Umbrella Entity (NUE) similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) developed by National Payments Corporation of India, to enter the burgeoning digital payments market in India.

Citing unnamed sources, the Economic Times says that the companies are now in the advanced stages of negotiations and has already started the process of submitting its proposals to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a process that is expected to take six months to review.

The new entity will jointly be led by Reliance and So Hum Bharat, a subsidiary of Infibeam Avenues with Facebook and Google holding smaller stakes.

“A proposal will be presented to the Reserve Bank of India on detailing the consortium’s plan to strengthen India’s digital economy,” said one of the sources.

“Representatives of these companies have been in talks with the central bank over the past few months to ensure compliance ahead of the formal presentation of the bid.”

In addition, Navin Surya, founder and director of So Hum Bharat Digital Payments has reportedly been appointed managing director and chief executive of this new entity, so say the unnamed sources.

Neither Reliance, Google and Facebook have confirmed this claims, while an Infibeam Avenues spokesperson told the Economic Times that its is “…bound by the confidentiality of the process and cannot comment.”

RBI isn’t expected to award more than two NUE licences, meaning competition is high and considerations of Foreign investments, data sovernty risks will have to be reviewed by external regulatory authorities, including the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Other that consortiums led by ICICI Bank and Amazon, as well as Paytm with IndusInd Bank have also applied for NUE licences with a fourth consortium led by Tata Group along with HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank is also in the mix.

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