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NPCI Announces 30 Percent Cap for Third Party UPI Apps Like Google Pay, PhonePe

Google Pay and PhonePe both have around 40 percent marketshare and will be impacted, while Paytm and MobiKwik could gain.

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NPCI Announces 30 Percent Cap for Third Party UPI Apps Like Google Pay, PhonePe
Highlights
  • UPI share of apps will be capped at 30 percent
  • PhonePe and Google Pay both hold 40 percent of the share
  • Apps will have to start compliance from January 2021

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has set a cap of 30% on total volume of UPI transactions processed by Third Party App (TPA) providers, which will come into place from January 2021. UPI — the Unified Payments Interface — has exceeded two billion transactions, according to the NPCI, with TPAs like Google Pay and PhonePe accounting for the majority of this figure. Now, the NPCI has put a cap on the proportion of transactions that a single company can process, in order to “address the risks and protect the UPI ecosystem as it further scales up,” the NPCI wrote. This will largely affect Google Pay and PhonePe, and present an opportunity for others such as Paytm and MobiKwik. There are also concerns that by capping the number of transactions a company can do in a month, it might lead to greater failure rates of transactions.

The UPI ecosystem is heavily dominated by only two companies — Google Pay and PhonePe. According to a recent report, both companies account for around 40 percent of the number of transactions — each. Aside from this, two other companies, Paytm and MobiKwik are together almost 20 percent of the UPI transactions. All other apps, ranging from the government's BHIM UPI app, to the many bank apps, barely have any share.

ALSO SEE: WhatsApp Pay gets green signal from NPCI

With this new rule, the companies will see their share change — the cap of 30 percent will be calculated on the basis of total volume of transactions processed in UPI during the preceding three months on a rolling basis. According to the announcement, the TPAs that have more than a 30 percent share will have a two year period to comply in a phased manner.

It's not clear what will happen if a company hits a cap — whether it would be allowed to carry out further transactions at that point in time, or whether it would have to stop. This means that if you're using a popular TPA like Google Pay or PhonePe, would this lead to more failed transactions? At present, this is not certain. WhatsApp is another contender in this space which has been waiting in the wings for permissions, and it has now been given permission by the NPCI to go ahead with its rollout.

WhatsApp Pay has now been given permission to expand its users in a phased manner, with a maximum user base of up to 20 million users. To compare, PhonePe recently announced that it has hit the 250 million user mark.


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Further reading: UPI, NPCI, Google Pay, PhonePe, WhatsApp Pay
Gopal Sathe Gopal Sathe is the Editor of Gadgets 360. He has covered technology for 15 years. He has written about data use and privacy, and its use in politics. He has also written extensively about the latest devices, video games, and startups in India. Write to gopal@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @gopalsathe with tips. More
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