Fintech Slice joins UPI race to challenge PhonePe and Google Pay – TechCrunch

Slice adds the popular railway UPI to its app of the same name as the Indian fintech aims to broaden its offerings and aim to become an all-in-one payment app for consumers in the world’s second largest internet market.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, which turned unicorn late last year, said it is rolling out the UPI feature to all of its existing users and to more than 10 million of those who have been on the waiting list.

Slice offers customers credit card-like features and gives them access to a range of deals with popular merchants through the app. The UPI feature is the latest addition to the Slice app, which aims to increase engagement as it gives users more reasons to interact with the startup’s offerings.

Rajan Bajaj, founder and chief executive of Slice, said in an interview that by using UPI, the payment app opens up the app to any smartphone user in the country.

UPI users on Slice can create unique IDs that allow them to search for their friends by name rather than by phone number, as is popular with other UPI supported apps. These unique IDs are powered by Andy, a web3 project Slice has been working on since last year.

“While building our UPI product, we made sure to remove all friction – there is no advertising, there is no cross-selling and there are no 100+ CTAs. The question we keep asking ourselves is ‘how can the user do this in 1 second or even less time?’ And we wanted this to happen now,” he said.

TechCrunch reported in late March that Slice was in the process of launching support for UPI and updating the app.

With UPI support, Slice is entering a crowded market. Google’s Gpay and Flipkart-supported PhonePe currently lead the UPI chart with over 80% of the market share. Scores from other players, including Paytm and Tata Neu, also support UPI payments.

UPI, a five-year-old payment protocol built by a coalition of retail banks, is the most popular way Indians transact money online. In April, the UPI network processed more than 5.5 billion transactions, up from 7.2 million in the same period four years ago.

The payment network, which is supported by more than 300 banks, allows users in one app to send money to another user on another UPI app.

“The payment network in India is very open with interoperability,” says Bajaj. “I believe that a product with the best consumer experience will eventually win people’s hearts. The strong growth we have seen in recent years on our slice super card proves that we have really struck a chord culturally with our consumers and that they are eager to use us for all their payment needs.”

Slice, which is backed by Insight Partners and Tiger Global, said it aims to make its lending business profitable in the coming months. “As Slice becomes profitable in its core product, the company will increasingly use the free cash flows from there to expand the scope of where Slice stands for its consumers,” it said.

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