Google is introducing UPI Autopay as a payment option for subscription-based purchases on its app marketplace Google Play in India, the tech giant said on November 15.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Reserve Bank of India's 2021 recurring payment guidelines that initially disrupted subscription-based payments for online services, with UPI Autopay emerging as a key alternative.
"With the introduction of UPI Autopay on the platform, we aim to extend the convenience of UPI to subscription-based purchases, helping many more people access helpful and delightful services–while enabling local developers to grow their subscription-based businesses on Google Play," said Saurabh Agarwal, Head of Google Play Retail & Payments Activation - India, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.
Launched under UPI 2.0 by the National Payments Corporation of India, UPI Autopay helps users make recurring payments using any UPI application that supports the feature. UPI is an instant payment system developed by NPCI.
Google said users can tap on the payment method in the cart, choose the “Pay with UPI” option and approve the purchase in their preferred app.
Google executives previously said UPI had been one of the key drivers of an increase in consumer spend on Google Play in the country.
Indian apps and games saw an 80 percent increase in consumer spends in 2021 compared to 2019 on Google Play, Aditya Swamy, Director, Play Partnerships, Google India told Moneycontrol in August 2022 without sharing the numbers.
Bringing UPI into Google Play's payment flows was a big area of investment for the company, Swamy said at the time.
"We are always looking at adding popular and effective forms of payment around the world to ensure people can pay for apps and in-app content conveniently," Agarwal said in a blogpost, adding Google Play helps consumers transact in more than 170 markets.
"We have been focused on removing complexities associated with finding and integrating local payments, including access to over 300 local payment methods supported in more than 60 countries" he said.
These developments come at a time when India's anti-trust watchdog the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dealt two back-to-back blows to Google that could have a significant impact on how the internet giant does business.
The commission has passed antitrust orders on two of its businesses Google Play Billing and Android, directing the company to implement a list of remedial measures apart from paying a combined provisional penalty of Rs 2,274 crore.
Google said it was evaluating the next step on both orders.