Tag: mobile transactions

National mobile payments system launches in India

The Unified Payments Interface is meant to simplify transactions over smartphones in the country.

The national payments system launched in India this week. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is designed to let shoppers complete transactions using mobile phones. So far, the launch includes 21 particpating banks. Customers of those banks can already use the mobile payments services.

Among the banks include ICICI, Axis Bank, Yes Bank as well as eighteen others in India.

With UPI, customers can use the national mobile payments system to both send and receive money. All they need is a smartphone and an account with a participating bank. This system functions by assigning a “virtual identifier” to a user, instead of a person’s actual identity. The purpose is heightened mobile security. There are a number of different functions available by way of the platform. The functions include: bill payments, barcode based in-store purchase transactions, real-time peer to peer (P2P) transactions, delivery payments as well as several others.

The national mobile payments system was initially announced in April and has since been pilot tested.

National Mobile Payments - IndiaThe pilot initially consisted of bank employees. Now that the pilot is complete, availability has broadened substantially. Any Indian bank with more than 1,000 pilot customers and a success rate of 80 percent with 5,000 or more transactions can use the UPI mobile apps. They can offer their branded version of UPI mobile payments applications by way of the Google Play store. That way, it can be accessed by the general public in India.

By using those requirements for launching the mobile apps in the Google Play store, the goal was to incentivize participation in the pilot. That way, there would be a greater capability for improving the application before the nationwide launch. It is possible for existing mobile users to integrate their platforms into the Unified Payments Interface.

Some have predicted that this national mobile payments platform will be very helpful in boosting e-payment adoption in India. That opportunity has the potential to move the country forward in its progress toward financial inclusion. This is important as only just over half of Indians (53 percent) currently have bank accounts.

UnionPay mobile payments have arrived in North America

The Chinese smartphone transaction system is launching in the western continent with a start in Canada.

China’s UnionPay mobile payments system is now in North America. It took its first steps into the continent by launching in Canada. This mobile transaction service is the international subsidiary of the Chinese interbank network. The network functions to link the credit and debit card payments throughout that country’s banks.

UnionPay International is enormous, placing third in the world as a payment network.

Only Visa and MasterCard are larger payment networks than UnionPay. This is primarily because of its reach throughout China and its recent rapid expansion outside the country. Now that UnionPay mobile payments launched in Canada, its QuickPass system will be available to many Canadian merchants. It will be focused on “daily spending” merchants in that country. This represents the first time the system has entered North America, despite its wide expansion elsewhere.

UnionPay mobile payments can be used with QuickPass enabled smartphones or EMV chip cards.

UnionPay Mobile Payments Headed to North America - North America on GlobeThere is a QuickPass spending cap at $100 (CAD) for transactions without a PIN or signature when using either credit or debit. This is meant to enhance the system’s mobile security. Moreover, it will make it fast and easy for Canadian consumers to use the system without having to enter a PIN.

As of yet, it is not known precisely how many Canadian merchants are interested in these mobile payments. The number of companies participating in QuickPass was not revealed at the launch. However, UnionPay has said that there will at least be more than 70,000 merchants with the required tech. It also pointed out that the infrastructure in the country is well suited to accept contactless payments.

Therefore, there is potential that a sizeable percentage of those with the ability to accept contactless payments will participate.

At the moment, the North American launch of UnionPay mobile payments is exclusive to Canada. However, there is a very large potential audience in the rest of the continent. This may mean that the company is setting up to subtly become a direct competitor with certain leading mobile wallets such as Apple Pay.