In a major development which could rejig the digital payment ecosystem in the nation, e-commerce major Amazon, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have come together to float an alternative to NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), which runs the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), reports Economic Times.
UPI is currently the most popular mobile payment platform in India and saw over 2 billion transactions in January 2021.
The three entities along with fintech startups BillDesk and Pine Labs are planning to set up a New Umbrella Entity (NUE) to establish a new national payments network.
They will be making a presentation before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) before 26 February, which is the deadline to submit bids for NUEs.
The new entity is reportedly aimed at consumers, merchants, and small and medium enterprises and if the bid is successful, it rival the NPCI’s UPI payment network.
“Our attempt is to create a world-class payments network which can reduce settlement time for small businesses and merchants. The discussions largely gained momentum over the last two months. All the requisite agreements and paperwork between players are in place,” a source was quoted as saying in the report.
The RBI in August 2020 had published the framework for authorisation of a new pan-India umbrella organisation for retail payment systems, apart from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which developed the widely-used UPI payment system in August 2016.
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