Imagine a travel or food-ordering site’s checkout page circa 2010-14. Credit cards. Debit cards. Netbanking. Cash on delivery. That’s about it.
Then came the wallets. Mobikwik, and Paytm, and FreeCharge. Airtel Money. Amazon Pay. Phonepe. More wallets from everyone and their uncle. Then came the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI—the holy grail of instantaneous payments right from your bank account. And credit-like options where you buy now, pay later.
The past five years in India have been a rollercoaster ride for companies from card networks like Visa and Mastercard to Paytm and Mobikwik to banks to card payments firms like Pine Labs and Ingenico to payment gateways like BillDesk and PayU.