UPI Use Is On The Rise In India

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has grown by 100 times in usage since the network was launched in April 2016.

Although transactions on BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), the government-funded app, have decreased, use of private UPI-linked apps such as PhonePe and Chillr has surged. Banks and private institutions have taken the lead in demonetizing India’s economy through integration with the UPI network, reports The Economic Times.

Data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shows that UPI transactions have increased to 9.2 million in May from 6.9 million in April 2017 and 92,000 in August 2016.

UPI transactions made through the BHIM app have dropped to 42% in May from 44% in April 2017, but it saw an increase to 46% in the value of the transactions. The app has been downloaded 20 million times since launch, but use has slowed down in recent months, mainly due to the expanding UPI network which links together 50 banks.

Another factor that slowed down BHIM use is the entrance of new competitors, such as Samsung Pay, on the market, who adopted the payments platform and integrated their services with it. Other companies like Android Pay and Stripe are also planning to launch their mobile payments services in India through the UPI network.

Indian Banks Choose Microsoft Azure Cloud to Host Their Blockchain

A group of India-based banking companies including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and DCB Bank has opted for Microsoft Azure as their cloud blockchain provider.

All 20 members of the BankChain consortium, which completed its KYC, AML/CTF platform testing in May 2016, will use Microsoft’s Azure blockchain to host the nodes for transactions on their distributed ledger systems.

India-based Primechain Technologies will build the first project to use Azure, which will consist of a closed, permissioned blockchain. The tool will allow clients to share know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing data.

Several new financial and fintech entities, including JP Morgan, Emercoin and Bitshares have been added to Micrososft’s Azure cloud computing platform. The companies will use the new available blockchain technology as a ‘sandbox’ development environment where partners can interact and experiment with different technologies.

Fiserv Announces More Banks to Join Zelle Platform

Fiserv has announced that several banks and credit unions will join Zelle, a P2P payments network from Early Warning.

Citizens Bank, Dollar Bank, First National Bank of Pennsylvania and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union will join the P2P network through Turnkey Service provided by Fiserv. Previously announced clients include Ally Bank, Bank of the West and BECU.

The Zelle payments network allows customers to send funds from one bank to another using only a recipient’s email address of mobile number. The Turnkey solution by Fiserv centralizes all the P2P services into a single platform.

The Digital Person-to-Person Payments in the U.S.: The Competitive Landscape report by Aite Group shows that financial institutions held 83% of the digital P2P market share in 2016, while alternative payment providers had 17%. The report has also revealed that in 2015 cash and checks were the preferred method of American consumers for P2P payments, highlight that there is room for online payments expansion.

Moneytree to bring Japanese banking revolution to Australia

Moneytree, the business that has been able to create a permission-based, data sharing platform, is bringing its platform to Australia.

Moneytree’s alliances with Japanese banks has positioned it to provide an open-API regime, which is in line with some the PSD-2 goals in Europe, and the Australian government’s wish for open banking in the Australian marketplace.

See the AB+F interview with Paul Chapman, Founder, Moneytree here.

ecommerce in Malaysia to rise 23% YOY

AT Kearney, the management consulting company, has just released its 2017 Global Retail Development Index in which it expects the Malaysian ecommerce market to grow by 23% year on year until 2021. The company also ranks Malaysia in 3rd place among the top 30 developing countries for retail investment, behind China and India.

Figures from on a government-backed investment plan of USD 280 million to roll out high speed broadband infrastructure to rural areas have been used as the basis of the report. The plan was initiated in 2016 and is expected to be a core for the ecommerce expansion in Malaysia.

Malaysia’s increasing higher disposable income, as well as the government’s investment in infrastructure (growing retail growth in the tourism sector) is another set of key factors. In 2016, the country’s retail industry grew by 3.8% thanks to a 6.1% increase in private consumption.

The company also highlighted Malaysia’s plan to become a cross-border ecommerce hub with the opening of the first Digital Free Trade Zone in partnership with Alibaba, which will allow SMEs to process their online transactions through the Chinese group.