More than six months after applying for a prepaid payment instrument (PPI) license in India, global payments service PayPal is ready to start its India Pay service, according to reports. It has tied up with dozens of merchants, and Indian customers would be able to download the PayPal app next week to pay for online goods and services within the country. Until now, PayPal allowed payments to only cross-border merchants and services. It is not clear if PayPal would be operational on the government’s UPI platform. Also Read - Big threat for Google, Twitter, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn usersAlso Read - WhatsApp launches new program to help organisations build solutions for healthcare issues
Besides applying for a mobile wallet licence with the RBI, PayPal had also explored acquisition opportunities. It was reportedly in the running for payments app FreeCharge that was acquired by Axis Bank from e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal. PayPal also considered an investment in Flipkart-owned payments service PhonePe that accounted for 45 percent of UPI transactions in August. However, none of the partnerships materialized and PayPal will now open as a payment aggregator in association with banks. ALSO READ: PayPal seeks license for mobile wallet in India: Report Also Read - WhatsApp adds new durations to Disappearing messages feature: Here's how to enable
PayPal’s offerings include a payment gateway business, a peer-to-peer payments mechanism, merchant payments, remittances, and retail offline transactions. In India, it already operates a product know as PayPal Credit. And now, the services will expand starting with merchant payments, which have increasingly become the bedrock of existence for payment firms in India. “During the online checkout process customers will be shown the PayPal payment option. What PayPal will bring is buyer security and safety, which will be a huge positive for the Indian consumers,” an official was quoted as saying. ALSO READ: WhatsApp Pay in final testing stage, likely to launch in December: Report
PayPal, when it opens to consumers, will be pitted against several domestic and international services in a hot payments market in India. There’s Google Tez, a payments app running on UPI, Flipkart’s PhonePe, Amazon’s Amazon Pay, WhatsApp’s soon-to-be-launched WhatsApp Pay, and the biggest of them all Paytm that has the largest merchant footprint in the country. There’s also Samsung Pay which launched last year, and Apple Pay that will roll out soon. In the US, PayPal’s biggest competitor is Apple Pay. In India though, it might have to contend with already popular homegrown apps.