The Indian fintech space has been undergoing a radical transformation. According to the EY Global Fintech Adoption Index, India has the highest fintech adoption rate of 87%, which is significantly higher than the global average of 64%. In fact, the Indian digital payment industry is expected to touch USD 10.07 trillion by 2026.1 With a view to building a 'cash-free' economy, the policymakers are aiming towards uninterrupted availability of safe, secure, and affordable e-payment systems.2
Despite the recent economic slowdown in India with the extended lock-down, the fintech industry has continued to attract investments, with Covid-19 having fast-tracked adoption of digital solutions by consumers, banks, and insurance companies. In the first six months of 2020, fintech startups have raised USD 1.7 billion compared to USD 726.6 million during the same period in 2019, according to reports.3 The Indian fintech industry is also witnessing the increased application of artificial intelligence and big data for enhancing personalized offerings. New business models like Neobanks are expected to revolutionize the Indian fintech market.4
This newsletter highlights the key developments in the Indian fintech space from August 1, 2020 to October 15, 2020.
MARKET UPDATES AND MAJOR DEALS IN INDIA
Niyo, a digital banking fintech startup, acquired Goalwise, a new-age mutual funds investment platform, to expand its product offerings and cater to increased demand for digital banking and related services.5
Paytm attained a 50 percent share in the payments to merchants (P2M) segment in India and emerged as one of the most integrated payments provider in the fintech space with its strong presence in tier III with over 16 million merchants on its platform.6 To further empower small and medium-scale enterprises, Paytm recently launched a portable Android Point-of-Sale ("POS") device for contactless ordering and accepting payments on the go. The device is styled like a mobile phone and comes bundled with Paytm's QR code scanner as well as the 'Paytm for Business' app.7 Separately, Paytm also launched stock trading services on their investment and wealth management platform, 'Paytm Money.' With this launch, Paytm aims to drive financial inclusion and facilitate stock penetration in equities trading by removing information gaps and making investing convenient and affordable for its users.8 Separately, Paytm has also launched its own 'Android Mini App Store' for Indian developers to build new innovative products and services for the masses and has announced an INR 10 crore fund in this regard.9 This development is in line with the Indian government's interest in launching its own mobile app store or expanding an existing one if it receives enough demand from domestic firms to compete with Apple and Google platforms.10
Mobikwik launched its Unified Payments Interface ("UPI") payment link service 'mpay.me,' to enable the sending and receiving of money between two users on different UPI apps. With mpay.me users will be able to generate their own mini personal payment gateways using their phone numbers and share it with anyone over chats, SMS to collect payments.11
Facebook is aiming to consolidate all its payments initiatives and projects under a single group, 'Facebook Financial,' which will be led by David Marcus, the cocreator of its Libra cryptocurrency project. This new group is proposed to pursue and oversee payments and commerce initiatives of Facebook, including Facebook Pay, WhatsApp Pay, and Novi (a digital wallet to hold the Libra cryptocurrency).12 In particular, this initiative includes launching WhatsApp Pay in India and Brazil amidst regulatory concerns in the respective jurisdictions. The formation of Facebook Financial indicates Facebook's effort to bring its individual products and applications closer together, similar to the growing integration of Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.13
OKEx, a cryptocurrency and derivatives exchange, launched a peer-to-peer trading platform in India, allowing Indian users to buy digital currencies in Indian rupees ("INR") with zero transaction fees. It is a marketplace for traders to make fiat – to – crypto transactions via escrow and enable various payment methods, including UPI, NEFT, and IMPS, through the platform.14
Google Pay launched its near-field communication (NFC) technology in India, which enables users to add credit cards and debit cards as contactless payment methods for some users, for direct payments.15
11 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/mobikwik-launches-personal-upi payment-link-mpay-me/ articleshow/77257536.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
12 https://tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/internet/ettech-top-5-softbanks-turnaround-facebooks-new-financial-unit-more/77487571; https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-10/facebook-financial-formed-to-pursue-company-s-commerce-ambitions
13 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/newsbuzz/facebook-financial-formed-to-pursue-companys-payments-plans/ articleshow/77476176.cms; https://medium.com/fast-company/inside-facebooks-quadruple-play-how-the-company-is-finally-melding-itsapps-a2835c808e50
14 https://cointelegraph.com/news/okex-launches-indian-p2p-trading-platform-despite-legal-uncertainty; https://www.okex.com/academy/en/ okex-launches-peer-to-peer-trading-platform-with-multiple-payment-methods-in-india/
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