Reliance Industries Allies with Google, Facebook to Start its Digital Payment Service in India

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

Reliance Industries Allies with Google, Facebook to Start its Digital Payment Service in India

On February 27, 2021, the Reliance Industries had announced its association in a bid with Google, Facebook to get New Umbrella Entity (NUE) licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The India multi-industry company, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has collaborated with the giant tech companies Google, Facebook and the local Fin-Tech company, Infibeam Avenues’ subsidiary So Hum Bharat. The reason behind this consortium is to seek a license from NUE to form a new digital retail payment service such as Unified Payment Interface (UPI) which was developed and launched by National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI) back in April 2016. In August 2020, RBI had announced the bids for NUE following the success of various digital payment networks including UPI in the country. 

Apart from this association, other consortiums such as Tata Group with Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC Bank, State Bank of India (SBI) with Bank of Baroda (BoB) and HDFC Band, Amazon with ICICI Bank, and Indus Bank with Paytm have applied for NUE licence previously. The petitions for NUE licence by these top applicants will be probed by CCI (Competition Commission of India) along with other external regulatory authorities. Unfortunately, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is authorized to accredit only two NUE licences which leads to high competition among these consortiums in the upcoming bid.

Owned by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, RIL has 13 investors globally including Google and Facebook. Besides Facebook and Google, two more partnering companies of RIL are working on this venture of digital payment network. In 2020, these international investors had invested around US$ 27 billion in Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited. This venture also reflects the interest of Ambani to shift the RIL to e-commerce, telecommunication and retail consumer market. This plan of RIL bode up very well to match the flourishing e-commerce market of the country.

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