Jai­ley will launch Google UPI-based Tez

THE IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE OF DIG­I­TAL PAY­MENTS IN IN­DIA IS ex­pected to in­crease three-fold by the end of 2017.

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - IANS

NEW DELHI: Union Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley will launch Google’s Uni­fied Pay­ments In­ter­face ( UPI)- based dig­i­tal pay­ment ser­vice called “Tez” on Monday, mak­ing In­dia’s dig­i­tal pay­ment ecosys­tem war even more com­pet­i­tive.

“FM Shri @arun­jait­ley to launch the Google Dig­i­tal Pay­ment app ‘TEZ’ on Monday, 18th Septem­ber, 2017 in the na­tional cap­i­tal,” the Fi­nance Min­istry con­firmed in a tweet on Saturday.

The re­port of Google en­ter­ing In­dia’s fast grow­ing dig­i­tal pay­ment ecosys­tem ap­peared in the me­dia on Thurs­day, fol­low­ing which Google In­dia sent out an in­vite for an event in New Delhi on 18 Septem­ber.

“As we con­tinue to make strides in en­sur­ing that our prod­ucts con­tinue to serve the needs of ev­ery­one, we in­vite you to a press con­fer­ence to share de­tails on the launch of a new prod­uct de­vel­oped grounds up for In­dia,” the in­vite read.

“Tez” ( mean­ing fast in Hindi) may work like An­droid Pay.

UPI is a pay­ment sys­tem launched by the Na­tional Pay­ments Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia (NPCI) and reg­u­lated by the Re­serve Bank of In­dia which fa­cil­i­tates the in­stant fund trans­fer be­tween two bank ac­counts on the mo­bile plat­form.

The other big player to join In­dia’s grow­ing dig­i­tal pay­ment mar­ket is Face­bookowned What­sApp.

What­sApp has been in the news for work­ing to­wards a UPI-based in­ter­face on its plat­form.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, the lead­ing mes­sag- ing plat­form is al­ready in talks with the NPCI and a few banks to fa­cil­i­tate fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions via UPI.

Ac­cord­ing to the blog web­site “WABe­taInfo”, What­sApp is giv­ing shape to its plans to­wards bankto-bank trans­fer us­ing the UPI sys­tem.

Some mo­bile mes­sag­ing plat­forms like WeChat and Hike Mes­sen­ger al­ready sup­port UPI- based pay­ment ser­vices.

The in­fra­struc­ture of dig­i­tal pay­ments in In­dia is ex­pected to in­crease three­fold by the end of 2017 with al­most five mil­lion elec­tronic point of sale ( PoS) ma­chines, the Min­istry of Elec­tron­ics and IT (MeitY) has said.

“We ex­pect that by De­cem­ber, the num­ber will ac­tu­ally go up to five mil­lion PoS, which means that the in­fra­struc­ture for dig­i­tal pay­ments is go­ing to grow three times in the short span of one year,” MeitY Sec­re­tary Aruna Sun­darara­jan said. Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Ship­ping, around 95% of In­dia’s trad­ing by vol­ume and 70% by value are done through mar­itime trans­port. The coun­try has 12 ma­jor and 200 no­ti­fied mi­nor and in­ter­me­di­ate ports. Cargo traf­fic, which recorded 1,052 mil­lion met­ric tonnes (MMT) in 2015, is ex­pected to reach 1,758 MMT by 2017. In­dia is the 16th largest mar­itime coun­try in the world, with a coast­line of about 7,517 km. The In­dian govern­ment has al­lowed for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment of up to 100% un­der the au­to­matic route for port and har­bour con­struc­tion and main­te­nance projects. It has also fa­cil­i­tated a 10-year tax hol­i­day to en­ter­prises that de­velop, main­tain and op­er­ate ports, in­land wa­ter­ways and in­land ports. Cargo traf­fic han­dled by In­dia’s ma­jor ports are mainly iron ore and fer­tilis­ers .The coun­try’s ma­jor ports have reg­is­tered an an­nual growth rate of 6.79% for FY 2016-17, as against a growth of 4.32% in FY 2015-16. The ma­jor ports recorded the high­est ever ca­pac­ity ad­di­tion of 100.37 MT in 2016-17, thereby rais­ing the to­tal ca­pac­ity to 1065 MT per an­num, as against a ca­pac­ity of 965.36 MT per an­num in 2015-16. The govern­ment has taken sev­eral mea­sures to im­prove op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency through mech­a­ni­sa­tion, deep­en­ing the draft and speedy evac­u­a­tions. Ma­jor ini­tia­tives have been taken by the govern­ment to pro­mote the ports sec­tor in the coun­try. It has an­nounced plans to ex­e­cute 199 resid­ual mar­itime projects worth USD 124 bil­lion over the next two years through govern­ment fund­ing. It has ap­proved a pro­posal to re­place the “Ma­jor Port Trusts Act, 1963”, with the “Ma­jor Port Au­thor­i­ties Bill, 2016”, which will em­power ma­jor ports to per­form with greater ef­fi­ciency by hav­ing full au­ton­omy in de­ci­sion mak­ing and by mod­ernising the in­sti­tu­tional struc­ture of ma­jor ports. It plans to un­der­take the devel­op­ment of 37 na­tional wa­ter­ways in the next three years, which would have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the re­duc­tion of over­all lo­gis­tics cost. Un­der the Sa­gar­mala pro­gramme, the govern­ment has en­vi­sioned a to­tal of 189 projects for the mod­erni­sa­tion of ports, in­volv­ing an in­vest­ment of USD 22 bil­lion by the year 2035. In­creas­ing in­vest­ments and cargo traf­fic point to­wards a healthy out­look for the In­dian ports sec­tor, and providers of ser­vices such as op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance, and ma­rine as­sets such as barges and dredgers will ben­e­fit largely from these in­vest­ments.

APM Ter­mi­nals is a ports and ter­mi­nals com­pany of the mar­itime gi­ant, AP Miller-Maersk Group, which is one of the largest con­tainer ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tors in the world. It has two fa­cil­i­ties in In­dia, one in JNPT at Nhava Sheva Mum­bai, while the other is at Port Pi­pavav in Gu­jarat. The lat­ter is a suc­cess­ful pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship and an im­por­tant gate­way port on the coun­try’s west coast for bulk and liq­uid cargo con­tain­ers. It lever­ages on the ship­ping net­work and ex­pe­ri­ence of its par­ent APM Ter­mi­nals which op­er­ates in 63 coun­tries. Port Pi­pavav is an all weather port, with ex­cel­lent strate­gic lo­ca­tion pro­vid­ing ac­cess to a rich hin­ter­land and key mar­kets. With a to­tal land area of 631 hectares, there is plenty of land avail­able for fur­ther ex­pan­sion. APM Ter­mi­nals holds 43% eq­uity stake in Port Pi­pavav. The stock cur­rently quot­ing at Rs 140 is a good buy, with a 25% price ap­pre­ci­a­tion in the next nine months. Ra­jiv Kapoor is a share bro­ker, cer­ti­fied mu­tual fund ex­pert and MDRT in­sur­ance agent.

Arun Jait­ley

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