Diana Layfield, VP, Payments & Commerce, Next Billion Users at Google, writes on the Official Google India Blog:

We’ll start with support for more than 80 billers, including national and state electricity providers, gas and water, and DTH recharge. These include billers like Reliance Energy, BSES and DishTV, and in total will cover all states and major metros in India. Tez also supports Bharat BillPay system, which lets you fetch the latest bill from your providers.

Competition is always good.

People familiar with the matter said the company levied a penalty of around 50 times the commission paid on several retailers who violated the guidelines for the first time, and removed repeat offenders from the network besides imposing a fine on them.

This is in response to the massive Aadhaar-related fraud that came to light a few weeks ago.

[…] UIDAI imposed a fine of Rs 2.5 crore on Airtel for allegedly opening payment bank accounts for its mobile subscribers without consent. The report also notes that Airtel routed the LPG subsidies of 31 lakh users (payments worth Rs 190 crore) to their Airtel payment bank accounts instead of the beneficiaries’ original bank accounts.

It still boggles my mind all the crazy shit that Aadhaar has enabled to happen, so easily.

MediaNama’s Shashidhar KJ published an article earlier today on the site titled, “How recurring payments are finally working in India”. You’d think the article would shed some light on how this was being made possible, but instead, we only get this:

While performing a recurring billing transaction, the customer has to give a consent before making the payment that they authorize the merchant to charge the card as per the subscription plan. The first transaction that is processed folllows two-factor authentication. The 1st transactions is processed with a 2FA

That’s right, the last two sentences mean the same thing.

Moving on, we get this:

CCAvenue will not store the 3D secure password for future recurring payments, and for subsequent payments, the merchant (Business Standard in this case) will send a request to CCAvenue, which will pass the request to the bank in a batch or API, for processing in the back-end.

followed by:

These payments are processed through standing instructions left with the bank. We were unable to find an RBI circular clarifying this.We have written to CCAvenue and the RBI to clarify this and will update once we hear from them.

So how are recurring payments finally working in India?

— They are processed without 2FA, except for the first one (DUH!)
— The bank processes the transactions after a request from the merchant via the payment gateway. (DUH!)
— MediaNama couldn’t find an RBI circular clarifying this.

OK then…

Dawn Chmielewski and Jason Del Rey reporting for Re/code:

The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant is in talks with several big U.S. banks to develop a digital payments system that would let people send money to each other via their phones, similar to services offered by PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo, according to multiple people familiar with the talks.