Google Pay on Wednesday announced the launch of Tap to Pay for UPI in India, partnering with Pine Labs. The feature will allow users to make UPI payments by tapping their phones directly on a supported Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminal at nearby shops. The new offering was initially piloted with Reliance Retail and will now be available at other large merchants including Future Retail and Starbucks. It will be available to UPI users who have NFC-enabled Android smartphones. However, for tap-to-pay transactions, the functionality requires a Pine Labs Android PoS terminal.
Using the Tap to Pay for UPI functionality, users can initiate transactions by tapping their phone on the PoS terminal and authenticate the payment from their phone using their UPI PIN. It reduces the time required in scanning a QR code or entering the UPI-linked mobile number.
Before beginning with the new experience, make sure that NFC is enabled on your device. The functionality is also limited to Android phones as Apple doesn’t allow NFC-based payments through services other than Apple Pay.
“Tap to Pay for UPI has profound implications for high traffic retail outlets, with queue management hassles posed to be greatly reduced, and taking digital payments at POS well beyond cards,” said Sajith Sivanandan, Business Head of Google Pay and Next Billion User initiatives, Google APAC, in a prepared statement.
Google Pay already supports NFC-based tap-to-pay functionality in global markets including the US. However, the new experience is different as it works with the government’s UPI.
“We believe this will further strengthen UPI acceptance in India and appeal to consumers, especially the youth population who have taken a liking for contactless and digital payments,” said Kush Mehra, Chief Business Officer at Pine Labs.
Companies including Paytm and Samsung have offered NFC-based tap-to-pay functionality on their mobile wallets for Android users in the country for some time. The existing experience works with bank cards, though. The move by Google Pay could bring it to the mainstream and more popular among Indian consumers.
Google Pay is one of the leading apps to support UPI payments in the country. As per the statistics available on the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the app continued to be the second largest player in February by processing 152.40 lakh crore transactions worth Rs. 2.91 crore. PhonePe, however, retained its leadership in the UPI apps market, with 212.02 crore transactions worth Rs. 4.07 lakh crore.
UPI transactions in the country dipped to 452.74 crore worth Rs. 8.26 lakh crore in February from 461 crore transactions worth Rs. 8.31 crore, the NPCI data shows.
NPCI Chief of Corporate and Fintech Relationships and Key Initiatives Nalin Bansal said that the move to enable Tap to Pay for UPI functionality would be a step ahead to transform the way real-time digital transactions were conducted especially in retail merchants.
“With the growing adoption of UPI, this first-of-its-kind functionality with Google Pay and Pine Labs will augment the customer experience and pave the way for a smarter and faster payment experience,” he said.
In 2020, Google introduced the tap-to-pay functionality for the users of Visa cards. It was initially available for Axis Bank and SBI credit cards, though later expanded to other bank cards.