Global payments major PayPal wants a slice of the blossoming mobile wallet pie in India, according to reports.
The California-based firm has applied for a prepaid payment instrument (PPI) in the country. This comes at a time when the payments space in India is abuzz with potential foreign investments, mergers and acquisitions.
Earlier this month, Amazon received a PPI licence from India’s federal bank that now enables it to operate Amazon Pay services. WhatsApp too is reportedly looking at launching payments here — its biggest market in the world.
The highly competitive mobile wallet market is presently dominated by Paytm which has 200 million users. Other players include Mobikwik, PhonePe, owned by India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart, the newly launched Jio Money that belongs to the country’s richest man, Freecharge which might soon be integrated into Paytm, and wallets operated by telecom carriers, Airtel and Vodafone.
It is quite a cluttered space but one that has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last six months, following the Indian government’s decision to scrap high-value currency notes that sent 86 percent of the country’s cash out of circulation almost overnight.
Mobile wallet adoption happened almost by coercion as a result. But now, aided by the government’s push for a Digital India, it is slowly becoming a way of life.
PayPal, meanwhile, has 192 million customers in more than 200 markets across the world. While Indian users can still hold PayPal accounts, there is no domestic product yet. The company had reportedly been in talks with Flipkart earlier for an investment in PhonePe.
But nothing came of it. And the company is now exploring other entry routes to India.
Mashable has reached out to PayPal for comment.