Earlier this year in April, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan launched the ambitious payments architecture for instant online bank payments. Called Unified Payment Interface (UPI), it has been developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The new payments interface aims to make it easier for users to send and receive money using a single password and identification. After pilot testing since April, NPCI has now given a go ahead to banks for publishing their UPI-enabled apps on Google Play Store. Also Read - FASTag Update: How to recharge FASTag account for Electronic Toll CollectionAlso Read - FASTag Latest Update: How to get FASTag wallet ID and activate it
During the testing phase, NPCI had chosen banks with 1,000 pilot customers for making 5,000 transactions. With a threshold of 80 percent for success rate, banks were allowed to refine their systems and procedure to ensure smooth experience for immediate Pay and Collect with a Virtual Payment Address (VPA). Out of the total 29 participating banks, 21 banks have got approval to release their apps in the next two to three days. This is a success of enormous significance. Real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application at such a scale on interoperable basis had not been attempted anywhere else in the world. Now the UPI App will be made available on Google Play Store by banks, said Mr. A. P. Hota, MD and CEO, NPCI. Also Read - Mobile wallet transactions increased 40 times in India in five years: Gulshan Rai
List of banks going live with UPI
Customers of the following banks will soon be able to send and receive money using the new unified payments interface. These banks include – ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, YES Bank, UCO Bank, Canara Bank, Federal Bank, DCB Bank, Union Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Vijaya Bank, Karnataka Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank and TJSB Sahakari Bank.
IDBI Bank and RBL Bank are also a part of the list, but they have been on-boarded as issuers. Customers of these banks will be able to download any UPI enabled app and link their accounts. It is also surprising to see that some of the big names such as HDFC Bank, CitiBank and the State Bank of India are not a part of this list. ALSO READ: RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan backs UPI for transfer of funds between bank accounts
What all you need to use the UPI app?
In today s fast paced world, smartphones and mobile internet has become a commonplace. The UPI app is built to leverage technology and provide the next generation of simple and secured solution to move India towards a cashless economy. To be able to use UPI you need three things a bank account, a smartphone and internet connectivity. ALSO READ: United payments system to make mobile wallets redundant: Report
How does UPI app work?
For those wondering how the unified payments interface will work, it s simple. A unique ID using your phone number will be created, which will also be linked to your bank account. Similar to your email ID, the UPI ID could be something like 9820098200@icici, where ICICI is your bank and 9820098200 could be your phone number. You can also have different addresses for accounts in different banks. So for a YES Bank account, your UPI ID could be something like 9820098200@yesbank.
How to send money using the UPI app
In order to send money, one needs to open the banking app on the smartphone, head over to send money section and enter the recipient details. For security purpose, two-factor authentication is in place, and once the payment is approved by the sender, money will instantly get transferred in the recipients bank account. ALSO READ: Unified Payment Interface: Here s how RBI s UPI will turn your smartphone into a bank
What makes UPI a better alternative?
Today, when you have to transfer money to someone via internet banking (NEFT or IMPS), you need to know a few details. These include the given name, bank name and account number, IFSC code and branch. However, UPI eliminates all these and you just need to know the recipient s ID. This also makes it better from security point of view as details like your name, bank account and more aren t exposed, and so chances of being misused are also less. UPI can also be termed as an advanced version of IMPS, which lets you transfer funds 24×7. So whether it s a bank holiday or midnight, you will be able to instantly transfer funds whenever required.
Where all can you pay using UPI app
Similar to internet banking and mobile wallet service providers, UPI app lets you pay for products your purchase from online shopping websites, pay utility bills such as landline and electricity bills, pay over the counter at shopping malls, fast food places and more. With UPI, you will also be able to make donations, pay school fees, transfer funds to your friends, recharge your DTH or mobile and more. As UPI app will also work when you go out shopping, you don t need to carry cash or credit cards.
What about the transaction limits?
Another benefit of UPI app is the transaction limit which goes from as low as Rs 50 all the way up to Rs 1 lakh. There are times when we go out with friends for dinner or on a trip, and almost every time after having food or drinks, we start calculating the individual amount of the bill. Now, instead of taking out cash, everyone can instantly transfer money to one person, and that person can pay the bill. This makes the entire process easier as you won t need to keep the cash all the time, or visit the ATM to withdraw cash.
UPI does look promising and as more people start using it, we re sure to move towards a cashless economy.