Serious efforts are being made in India to move people away from cash. When I was changing money at Chennai airport for a two-day visit, they foisted a debit card on me. But tourists are a minuscule part of the Indian market. It appears there will be a lot of innovation and competition in that space:
The launch of Tez sees Google compete with payment services already available from mobile operators, traditional finance providers, e-Commerce companies and mobile wallet specialist firms including Paytm – which so far has 200 million users.
Additionally, chat apps with huge user-bases are at various stages of entering the fray. Hike – which boasts 100 million subscribers – launched its transaction facility in June and WhatsApp is also said to be preparing its service, aimed at its base of 200 million.
The rush to grab a share of the payments market comes amid government initiatives to reduce the use of cash in the country under the broad umbrella of Digital India.