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India is at a loss as to how to break down PhonePe and Google's dominance in payments

India is at a loss as to how to break down PhonePe and Google's dominance in payments


India is facing a tough time implementing long-delayed rules to curb PhonePe and Google Pay's dominance over the country's ubiquitous UPI payments network, which processes more than 10 billion transactions every month.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a special arm of the central bank, wants to limit the market share of any player in the Unified Payments Interface ecosystem to 30%. While Paytm, which ranks third in the UPI charts, is fighting for survival, NPCI faces the unique challenge of losing market share to his PhonePe and Google Pay. I don't know how to do that.

NPCI officials believe there are technical barriers to achieving the goal and have been soliciting ideas from industry players in recent quarters, two people familiar with the matter said. NPCI, which has delayed implementation of the rule until 2024, declined to comment Tuesday.

That dilemma came to the fore again last week when a parliamentary committee asked New Delhi to support domestic fintech companies to counter the dominance of PhonePe and Google Pay. This comes after the central bank directed No. 3 Paytm to suspend some operations of Paytm Payments Bank, an affiliated entity that processes transactions for the financial services group. .

India's real-time digital payments system UPI has fundamentally transformed India's payments landscape since its introduction in 2016. The UPI network has approximately 500 banks, 70 million merchants, and a monthly transaction volume of over 10 billion.

NPCI initially proposed market share checks to reduce systemic risks and “facilitate all transactions within the UPI ecosystem” (PDF).

Image credit: Macquarie

Brokerage firm Macquarie on Tuesday slashed Paytm's 12-month price target over concerns that customers as well as lending partners could leave the platform. Macquarie said his price target suggests a valuation of Paytm at $2.1 billion (considering Paytm's cash balance of $1 billion), adding that the Noida-headquartered company is in a “survival” position. We are fighting,” he said.

Paytm's further loss of market share will benefit the top two players, industry executives have warned. Citing official data, the parliamentary committee said that PhonePe gained a market share of 47% and Google Pay 36% in October-November 2023.

Industry executives said the only way for PhonePe and Google Pay to comply with the 30% cap is to stop adding new users. Meanwhile, PhonePe continues to spend on marketing to gain more share.




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