Xiaomi announced that it will soon launch an NFC enabled watch strap in India that will be synced via Mi Pay to offer contactless payments to users. At present, not much details have been revealed about the NFC straps. The company’s executive Raghu Reddy posted on Twitter that they will only work through Mi Pay, and the move is likely to see an increase in the adoption of the payments service the company offers in India.
The launch took place today at the Global Fintech Festival, as part of one of its announcements to offer services that contribute to digital payments in India. To power the device, the Xiaomi Watch Strap has been introduced in partnership with RuPay, RBL Bank and fintech platform Zeta. The offering may initially be limited to a few specific banks, but in the long run it will be expanded to offer its contactless payment services to a wider range of users.
The announcement was in line with the first day of the Global Fintech Festival, which touched on India’s expansion into the modern, digital finance space. A News18 report quoted Rajesh Bansal, CEO, RBI Innovation Hub, as saying that UPI payments in India are estimated to be around Rs 2.3 lakh crore by 2021, but will increase to Rs 6.2 lakh crore by 2025 – hence the potential Roop is growing at a CAGR of 22% over the next four years. Bansal reportedly said that only one in five people across the country are actively using digital payments right now, adding that this reflects the wide range of growth that fintech firms in India will have in the immediate future.
Bansal also underlined how India’s GDP ratio of 14.1 per cent is far behind the OECD countries’ ratio of less than 5 per cent. With devices like the Xiaomi NFC Watch Strap for contactless payments, more users in India may start adopting online financial services as the ease of making payments increases. As of now, the straps do not have a launch date or price tag in the country, and even its exact launch date is not known. It’s also unclear which watches the NFC straps will work with, and it will be interesting to see if they bring contactless payments to analog watches.
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