Xiaomi unveiled its Mi Pay mobile payments app for India, further increasing competition in the country’s already crowded mobile payments market.

The Chinese company commenced a “large scale trial” of the service late in 2018 and formally announced commercial availability today (19 March).

It provides mobile peer-to-peer payment services and bill payment, and was developed in partnership with ICICI Bank using protocols defined by The National Payments Corporation of India.

The launch means the manufacturer, which vies for leadership of India’s smartphone market with Samsung, enters a space also targeted by some of the largest technology companies operating in the region.

Among its rivals will be India app Paytm, backed by Alibaba and SoftBank; a tailored version of Google Pay; messaging company Hike; and Samsung Pay.

WhatsApp, which has a huge existing user base in the country, has reportedly been beta testing its service for more than a year, but is yet to launch commercially.

Each app provides a slightly different service, with some companies offering affiliated savings products and others focused more on retail or peer to peer payments.

Xiaomi’s move into India comes three years after it released a mobile payments service in its home market of China under the same name.