Surendrasingh Sucharia always has a few thousand rupees in his pocket, but can\u2019t recall the last time he used cash. The 29-year-old product manager in Bangalore uses a string of smartphone apps including Google\u2019s Tez and India\u2019s Paytm to pay for everything from $40 bags of groceries to street food that costs pennies. A bewildering array of digital payment businesses from global names like Facebook Inc.\u2019s WhatsApp to Google are in a slugfest to win Indian users. Warren Buffett\u2019s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is set to acquire a stake in the company behind payments leader Paytm, people familiar with the matter said this week. Meanwhile, a string of other big-name players are also expanding in the country\u2019s digital payments market including its banks, its postal service, and its richest man, Mukesh Ambani. India saw a brief spurt in digital payments two years ago when Prime Minister Narendra Modi\u2019s government banned most of the nation\u2019s existing bank notes, although the spike petered out as new bills were printed. But over the past year, a string of new apps have made payments increasingly easy, and the discounts and cash bonuses they offer are proving irresistible to young, urban users like Sucharia. Credit Suisse Group AG now estimates that the Indian digital payments market will touch $1 trillion by 2023 from about $200 billion currently. Cash still accounts for 70 percent of all Indian transactions by value, according to Credit Suisse, and neighboring China is far more advanced with a mobile payments market worth more than $5 trillion. But local players have a stranglehold on China\u2019s digital payments space. Modi\u2019s administration, meanwhile, has welcomed foreign firms in order to expand financial services across India. \u201cThis kind of a promising market exists nowhere else,\u201d said Vivek Belgavi, a Mumbai-based partner at consultancy PwC India with an expertise in financial technology. Still, the Indian payments market remains a chaotic field where the rules are hazy on what players can offer. And users often switch between apps. Rahul Matthan, a Bangalore-based lawyer, says he\u2019s used every one of the leading payment apps, although he now confines most of his transactions to BHIM, Paytm and WhatsApp payments. Experts like Vinayak HV, Singapore-based senior partner at McKinsey & Co., say profitability isn\u2019t close on the horizon for the industry. While it\u2019s too early to call the game, here are a few players with a shot at winning: Facebook\u2019s WhatsApp: Began beta testing its payments service on a million Indians in February this year. Pros: WhatsApp is India\u2019s most popular messaging app, whose quarter of a billion users text family and friends all day. It doesn\u2019t need to put in cash to acquire customers and that\u2019s a massive advantage. Cons: The service is stuck in beta mode, and its country-wide launch has been impeded by regulatory questions over areas like storage of user data. Meanwhile, the government has been upbraiding WhatsApp for not curbing fake videos that have gone viral on its messaging service and led to the lynching of over two dozen Indians. This could further delay the full-fledged launch of its payments business. Google\u2019s Tez Google says its payment app crossed 50 million app downloads a few weeks ago. Tez is swiftly adding users and sprinted to increase total number of transactions using the country\u2019s Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, a system that\u2019s linked to over a 100 banks and facilitates real-time digital transactions. Pros: Google\u2019s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai said Tez is central to the company\u2019s India strategy and also key to its global payments push. The payments app has localized, supporting several Indian languages, and is chasing young users with games that offer cashbacks. Cons: Tez is lagging rival WhatsApp whose strong base of users come from its messaging service. Google has belatedly introduced a chat feature on Tez. Flipkart\u2019s PhonePe: PhonePe says it has 133 million app downloads. Pros: When Walmart Inc. acquired a majority stake in PhonePe\u2019s parent Flipkart Online Services Pvt. , the payments app also acquired a global backer. All signs are that PhonePe is already gaining from Walmart\u2019s financial heft with a recent infusion of about $66 million from Flipkart. Cons: Flipkart rival Amazon has been steadily pumping capital into its own wallet, Amazon Pay, and increasing its user base. Paytm: Backed by China\u2019s Alibaba as well as Ant Financial Services Co., Paytm is India\u2019s largest digital payments company and says it has 150 million app downloads. Pros: An early player, it got a boost from India\u2019s demonetization drive in 2016, when a scarcity of cash sent millions scurrying toward providers like Paytm. The company has since built a wide network of merchants and outlets with a robust system of cashbacks and discounts to keep users locked in. Cons: Paytm\u2019s users have to go through a multi-step enrollment process since it\u2019s a licensed payments bank, unlike most of its digital wallet rivals like Tez and PhonePe. The regulator recently barred Paytm temporarily from enlisting new users for non-compliance with procedures. The company said it has responded to the regulator\u2019s concerns. BHIM: Has 32 million app downloads. Designed by UPI, it\u2019s the government\u2019s own play in digital payments. The app is simple and fast, appealing to non-technologically savvy users in smaller towns and rural India. Pros: The government has been actively pushing BHIM, using Modi\u2019s face to promote its brand, setting transaction targets for banks and state-owned utilities to boost its user base. Cons: Despite an initial popularity burst, it hasn\u2019t been able to keep pace with rivals whose bottomless pockets have kept users hooked with sweeteners. Next in Line: A brand new India Post Payments Bank, set up by the state-owned Department of Posts, is starting operations with 650 branches and thousands of trained postmen fanning out to far-flung corners to teach users how to use its app. Also, Ambani\u2019s digital payments business via his Jio mobile service, has the potential to jolt rivals.