Four years ago, former banker Shikha Sharma had termed the launch of United Payment Interface (UPI) as a 'WhatsApp' moment for payments. Then after working in banking for many years, she left Axis Bank at the end of 2018. The spirit of work and the passion for the industry has however remained. After leaving Axis Bank she has joined multiple companies, including Tech Mahindra and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, as an independent director. Now she also joins Google Pay as advisor.
Caesar Sengupta, Vice President Payments and Next Billion Users at Google announced on Twitter.
“Thrilled to welcome Mrs Shikha Sharma, ex-CEO of Axis Bank, as an advisor to Google Pay India. She has been an early champion of bank-tech partnerships, and a mentor to us. Now her strategic thinking and guidance will help us accelerate our global payments journey,” he wrote.
Sharma is also excited to join the journey and looks forward to making a difference with Google Pay. "I am a deep believer in the potential of fintech to create great value for users as well as traditional financial systems," she said. She further added that she has interacted with the Google Pay team since the early days of their business in India and has been impressed by their vision of making payments and financial services simple and easy for everyone.
While Google Pay has been an early mover in digital payments in India,it is likely to face intense competition from the imminent entry of WhatsApp Pay, which has also forged a partnership with JioMart. How Google Pay leverages Sharma’s years of experience in BFSI and takes its business to the next level will be interesting to follow. Given the current global health crisis and the demand for digital platforms to carry out financial transactions it has brought along, companies like Google Pay have a lot of potential to grow.