August 26, 2016

Unified Payments Interface launched... a Primer

Image result for mobile bankingUnified Payments Interface (UPI) is an architecture and a set of standard APIs to facilitate the next generation online immediate payments leveraging trends such as increasing smartphone adoption, Indian language interfaces, and universal access to Internet and data.[2] UPI was launched by National Payments Corporation of India with Reserve Bank of India's vision of migrating towards a 'less-cash' and more digital society.
UPI will eliminate the need of sharing long Bank account numbers and IFSC codes and making the payment hassle free.
  • UPI offers the facility to identify a bank customer with an email-like virtual address. Since bank account details are not given in this virtual address, the customer can freely share the UPI financial address with others. Users need to download the app and register before using it.
  • A customer, for example, can also decide to use a mobile number or a short name for the virtual address such as XYZ@icici or 123456789@axis 
  • UPI allows a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks.
  • For making payment, the transaction will be complete once the customer authenticates the transaction through a secure PIN.
  • The other benefits of this mobile payment mechanism include its round-the-clock availability and faster checkout.
  • One can use the UPI app instead of paying cash on delivery (COD) on receipt of product from online shopping websites, and can pay for miscellaneous expenses like utility bills, over the counter payments and school fees.
  • The Unified Payments Interface is an advanced version of the existing payment system IMPS, which offers instant 24X7 interbank electronic fund transfers across India through mobile, internet and ATMs.
  • National Payments Corporation of India said the UPI app will be available in next two to three working days for the customers to download and start using.
  • Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, DCB Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank are some of the banks that have joined the UPI platform. 
  • Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani has been an adviser to NPCI on the UPI project. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan in April this year had soft-launched the new payment mechanism and it has been on a pilot run since then.

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