RIL partners with Google, Facebook to apply for NUE to launch payments network

Reliance partners with Google, Facebook for digital payment network bid

Reliance Industries (RIL) has reportedly partnered with Google and Facebook Inc to set up a new payment network, in line with Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to grab a pie of India’s growing digital payments market. The Mukesh Ambani-led RIL is in the advanced stage of submitting their proposal to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for setting up a pan-India umbrella entity for retail payments.

Last year, India’s central bank invited companies to forge new umbrella entities (NUEs) to create a payments network that would rival the system operated by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI), as it seeks to reduce concentration risks in the space. The NUE will be jointly promoted by a Reliance unit and Infibeam Avenues Ltd’s subsidiary So Hum Bharat, while Google and Facebook will hold a smaller stake in the NUE license. As per the report, former Itzcash founder and payment industry veteran Navin Surya has been appointed managing director and chief executive of the NUE. Set up in 2008, NPCI is a not-for-profit company, which as of March 2019 counted dozens of banks as its shareholders, including the State Bank of India, Citibank and HSBC. It processes billions of dollars in payments daily via services that include inter-bank fund transfers, ATM transactions and digital payments.