After demonetization in 2016, the digital payments landscape in India has completely changed. A lot of people who were once hesitant to use internet banking for online payments, have now started using services like BHIM and Paytm to send and receive money, make utility and mobile bill payments, and to pay for their Ola and Uber cab rides. Since making its debut in India, Xiaomi has become more than just a smartphone maker, and its product portfolio proves that.
Now, Xiaomi also wants a piece of India’s crowded digital payments market. The company has launched Mi Pay, a UPI-based mobile payments solution backed by ICICI Bank and PayU. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has cleared Mi Pay for large group usage, and Xiaomi has started testing the same in India. Mi Pay will be competing with the likes of Paytm, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Mobikwik among others. If you are willing to beta test and give it a try, read on.
Watch: Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro First Look
How to apply and beta test Mi Pay
Head over to goo.gl/forms/L7OnrkKIsOpG1tzn1, and fill the form. It will ask you for basic details like your email address, full name, link to Mi Profile of your Mi Account, Mi ID, and more. In case you don’t have a Mi account, you can create one by accessing the Mi Community app, or by visiting in.c.mi.com. The beta application is open till December 31 2018.
How to get Mi Pay on your Xiaomi smartphone
Unlike Paytm, Google Pay or BHIM, Mi Pay isn’t an app. The payment solution is built into the MIUI 10 framework, and you will need a Xiaomi smartphone with MIUI 10 Global Beta ROM to give it a try.
If you have a compatible smartphone, say Poco F1, Redmi 6-series, Redmi Note 5 / Note 5 Pro, or Redmi Note 6 / Note 6 Pro, you can head over to MIUI forums (en.miui.com/thread-4970588-1-1.html), and download the latest build. The page also has the flashing instructions, so follow them thoroughly and properly, as even a small mistake could potentially brick your smartphone. Proceed with caution.
Setting up Mi Pay on your Xiaomi smartphone
To try out Mi Pay, I installed the MIUI 10 Global Beta ROM on the Redmi Note 6 Pro. Ensure that you have signed in to Mi account on your smartphone. Now, head over to Settings -> Accounts -> Mi Pay Account.
Tap on My Profile, and see if your details have been pulled (Mi account number and phone number). The third option here is “Default Bank Account,” tap on it, and tap on “Add bank account.”
You will see a list of banks that are a part of UPI (Unified Payments Interface). Tap on your preferred bank with which you have an account (HDFC / ICICI / SBI or so). The system will then look for your linked bank account, and fetch details. You will then be asked to enter your UPI PIN. If you’ve forgotten, you do have an option for forgot UPI PIN to reset it.
In case you are setting UPI for the first time, be sure to keep your debit card handy as you will have to enter the card number, expiry date and CVV number. Next, you will have to create a UPI ID – the VPA (virtual payment address). It could be your mobile number or name or so, followed by UPI address (in this case it is @myicici). For instance, your UPI ID can be [email protected] or [email protected]
How to Send and Request money using Mi Pay
There are three ways to send and request money using Mi Pay. To begin with, you can go to the Mi Pay app from Settings -> Accounts -> Mi Pay Account. In the top half, you have a card with three icons – send money, request, and scan & pay. Tap on send money, followed by the recipient’s VPA or IFSC code, amount and a note.
You will then be asked to enter the UPI PIN, and upon authentication, your money will be sent. To request money, tap on the second icon, enter the VPA of person you want to request money from, followed by amount and the note. A notification will then be sent to the user, and after they send money, it will be credited to your account. You can also scan and pay the recipient.
The other option is using SMS app or from contacts app, but this only works with MIUI ROM. When in the message conversation, tap on the “+” icon, and you’ll find transfer money icon at the bottom. Just tap on it, and enter recipient details to send money. Similarly, you can also send and request money from the contacts app. Simply select contact, and you’ll see details like phone number, email address, and other details among send and receive money options.
You can also use Mi Pay to check your account balance, change UPI PIN and more. The daily transaction limit is set at Rs 1 lakh, which is as per NPCI guidelines.
Utility bill payments
Just like Samsung Pay or Google Pay, Mi Pay also lets you make utility bill payments. You can pay water, electricity and gas bills, you can pay DTH, landline and broadband bills too. Xiaomi has a good list of billers, which includes nearly all service providers.
You can pay your postpaid mobile bills, and do prepaid top-ups too. The best part is after you enter your phone number, operator and circle details, you will see all the relevant plans that are available. These include data and roaming packs, unlimited plans, along with the benefits that they offer.
Just like the smartphone market, the payment space in India is getting a little crowded. Xiaomi bringing its own payment solution is a good move for two reasons. As the solution is baked right into MIUI 10 interface, you don’t need to download additional apps like BHIM, Google Pay or so to be able to send and receive money.
Secondly, Xiaomi being the number one smartphone maker in India for over four quarters straight, and having sold millions of devices (mostly in entry, affordable and mid-range), there is a great potential to tap into a whole new user segment. Unlike Google Pay and Samsung Pay, Xiaomi isn’t offering any incentives for making digital payments, and it remains to be seen how the company can excite more users to go cashless with Mi Pay.