Google vouches for India’s UPI in its letter to US Federal Reserve

In its letter last month, Google LLC recommended that the US Federal Reserve implement a real-time payments platform, on the lines of India’s UPI.

It is not just US space agency NASA getting inspired by ISRO. After global regulators evincing interest to understand India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI), now Google has recommended to US Federal Reserve to develop its new real-time gross settlement service in line with India’s UPI.

Just months after the report of RBI’s High Level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments recommended to take UPI global, Google has written a letter to the US Federal Reserve to take a cue from India’s UPI.

In its letter last month, Google LLC recommended that the US Federal Reserve implement a real-time payments platform, on the lines of India’s UPI.

The letter written by Mark Isakowitz, Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google USA and Canada, said, “UPI was thoughtfully planned and critical aspects of its design led to its success. First, UPI is an interbank transfer system (there are now over 140 member banks, after initially launching with 9 participating banks). Second, it is a real time system. Third, it is “open”-meaning technology companies can build applications that help users directly manage transfers into and out of their accounts held at banks.”

It further added, “The approach in India attained amazing results for banks, consumers, other players within the payment ecosystem and India’s central bank. Adoption of the system was rapid, growing from 100,000 monthly transactions, to 77 million, to 480 million, to 1.15 billion monthly transactions in the first four years. After just three years, the annual run rate of transactions flowing through UPI is about 10 percent of India’s GDP, including 800 million transactions valued at approximately $19 billion.”

In August this year, the board of governors of the Federal Reserve published a paper where it proposed to develop a new inter-bank 24x7 real-time gross settlement service, which would support faster payments in the US.

Google has also shared details of its learnings from the UPI of India to the Federal Reserve. One of the learnings that it shared were about partnering between government and industry to grow the ecosystem.

UPI was launched in December 2016. Since then 148 public and private sector banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks have been offering payment services through the UPI platform.

There are 48 different mobile apps that work on the UPI platform and offer digital payment services on real time basis in India. Google Pay, PayTM, Phone Pay, Bharat Pay, BHIM are some of the most popular digital payment apps that use UPI platform.

In November, 2019, the total number of UPI transactions hit an all-time high of 121.9 crore. Total value of transactions made through UPI in November 2019 was Rs 1,892 crore with an average transaction size of Rs 1,552.