India’s largest smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched Mi Pay, its payment service, in India, marking the first time the service has been expanded beyond its home market of China.
The company will use the National Payment Corporation of India’s UPI and Bharat Bill payment network for its core functionality.
The company has tied up with ICICI Bank for the back-end solution.
Mi Pay is the latest in a crowded field, full of competitors like PayTM, MobiKwik, Google Pay and PhonePe.
However, unlike many other wallet options, Mi Pay has a key advantage — it will come bundled on all Xiaomi smartphones. Not just that, the company said it is planning to push this software to all existing Xiaomi phones in India in the next two weeks.
It is estimated that about 30% of all phones in India are from Xiaomi.
The payment space is highly competitive, with market leader PayTM up and ahead of all others by a large margin. Challenger PhonePe is trying to close the gap by spending crores in the form of advertising budget.
In terms of features, Xiaomi’s Mi Pay is largely similar to those of the other wallets.
The company said the Mi Pay will be ‘deeply integrated’ into the operating system, which means that it may not be possible to uninstall the app.
Xiaomi uses a customized Android operating system called MIUI, which allows it to weave the Mi Pay into the core of the phone.
“We think payments are a core mobile operating system use-case. Hence, payments has to be deeply integrated into the various aspects of the smartphone’s functionality.. it is not just a standalone app.”
Mi Pay will be integrated with the contacts apps, messaging app and camera app, which helps users do things like scan to pay, or pay to someone directly while chatting on SMS.
“I can do it right within the app without having to launch another,” the company said.
The company allayed concerns about security. “All user data is stored locally in India,” the company said, adding that Ernst & Young has audited the whole payment process.
The system is being rolled out to all Xiaomi users in India.