Reliance partners with Facebook and Google to bid for digital payments network


LAST UPDATED: Feb. 28, 2021, 6:47 p.m.

New Delhi (Anish Yande): Reliance Industries would be partnering with tech giants Facebook and Google for developing an online payment network. The business conglomerate would also be partnering with the fintech firm Infibeam for the digital payment network. 

Reliance Industries seeks NUE license from RBI:

Reliance Industries Ltd is seeking a New Umbrella Entity (NUE) license to establish a network for retail payments in India. The NUE would permit Reliance Industries and partners Google and Facebook to create a nationwide digital payments network. 

The network would be similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). UPI is operated by the National Payments Council of India and the digital networks by Reliance Industries aims to compete against NPCI. 

Google, Facebook, and Reliance would be working with So Hum Bharat Digital Payments Pvt Ltd to draft a proposal to be submitted to the Reserve Bank of India. RBI had previously set a deadline of February 26 for submitting an NUE. The deadline has been extended to March 31, 2021. 

RBI to study proposals for a duration of six months:

Reserve Bank of India would be studying and taking a decision on the proposal for a duration of six months along with other proposals. The central bank would not issue more than two new NUE licenses. 

According to reports, other parties in consideration for licenses are private lender HDFC Bank, Paytm, Ola and IndusInd Bank, and Amazon and ICICI Bank. 

The NUE license would provide more abilities and better autonomy for the tech giants for digital payments in India. The tech companies can develop and establish their presence in the financial network through the license.

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Google and Facebook’s payment services in India make use of the UPI network. Google Pay and Facebook’s WhatsApp Payment service are third-party services that utilize UPI platforms. 

Google and Facebook had previously acquired a stake in Reliance Jio Platforms. The tech giants hold a stake in Jio Platforms which provide entertainment and telecom services in India.  

Image Credit: Google

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