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Xiaomi launches Mi Pay as a UPI app on Indian Xiaomi smartphones

Xiaomi has launched Mi Pay, its UPI payment app, for Xiaomi smartphone users in India. MIUI users can install Mi Pay from the Mi Store. Users can login with their Mi account or use another account. With Mi Pay, users can also pay utility bills (water, electricity, gas, phone recharges) across 120 billers and 120 national and regional banks using cards. Note that in 2016, Xiaomi had partnered with MobiKwik to let its users make a ‘one-touch-recharge’ with DTH or mobile operators. Mi Pay Users can also create a UPI VPA, check balance, send money, pay using QR codes and collect money. There is a limit of Rs 100,000 per transaction as per NPCI and the individual banks.

Mi Pay has an NPCI certification and uses ICICI Bank’s payment services for its UPI app. The company claims that Mi Pay data will be stored only on Indian servers and that it is working with E&Y and Lucideus for data storage and safety.

Privacy policy and minors’ data collection

Xiaomi has a grievance officer for India based in Bangalore. In its privacy policy, Xiaomi says that it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s use of its services, but that it does not require minors’ personal information. In case a minor’s information is stored with the company, their parents can ask Xiaomi to remove it, and unsubscribe them from it.

Users can also request for a copy of their personal data and ask for it to be erased. Xiaomi will also share user information with “Mi Ecosystem” companies and “cooperators” such as mailing houses, delivery service providers, telcos, data centres and storage facilities, customer service providers, ad and marketing agencies, agents, corporations etc, other than its own direct marketing. All of this and more information is collected for personalisation, marketing, improving its services and more.

Interestingly, in June 2018, Xiaomi updated its India and US privacy policy to collect more data than before: financial information like bank account numbers and credit card information, along with “social information” like “current employer, current job title, education background, professional training background etc.”

Not available on Android One devices

According to XDA Developers, Xiaomi had soft launched Mi Pay in December last year for MIUI beta users. The report added that the app is not available on Android One devices like Xiaomi Mi A1, Xiaomi Mi A2 and Redmi Go, and it is unknown if users of MIUI custom ROM can use it.

Mi Pay was launched in China in September 2016, with Bank of China and Union Pay, a card network in China. It could then be used for paying for public transit services and was NFC enabled. Mi Pay could hold up to eight cards per user and required card number and verification.

Focus on services

  • In January, Xiaomi launched ShareSave, a cross-border ecommerce platform from where users in India could buy Xiaomi goods made in mainland China.
  • In May 2018, Xiaomi launched its on-demand music and video streaming apps, Mi Music and Mi Video for Xiaomi phone users. Mi Music was launched in partnership with Hungama.com. It then claimed to have 7 million daily active users in India.
  • In October 2017, Xiaomi invested in microlending platform KrazyBee.
  • In October 2018, it also pumped money into credit lending company ZestMoney.
  • In March 2016, Xiaomi’s Internet Telephony service Mi Voice made an appearance on Indian handsets.

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