India’s Reliance partners with Google, Facebook for digital payment network bid | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

India’s Reliance partners with Google, Facebook for digital payment network bid

Reuters | New Delhi

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

India’s conglomerate Reliance Industries has partnered with Facebook Inc, Google and fintech player Infibeam to set up a national digital payment network, Economic Times newspaper reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources.

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.

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.

Citing three unnamed sources, India’s leading business daily Economic Times said that the group led by Reliance and Infibeam was in the advanced stages of submitting their proposal to the Reserve Bank of India.

A spokesperson for Infibeam declined to comment on the report, saying the company was bound by the confidentiality of the process, while Reliance, Google and Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Digital payments in India could rise to $135.2 billion in 2023, according to an Assocham-PWC India study in 2019.

Facebook and Google are already partnered with Reliance and own stakes in Jio Platforms - the unit which houses Reliance’s music, movie apps and telecoms venture.