What is Unified Payments Interface (UPI)?

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts in a single mobile application (any participating bank). Which includes multiple banking facilities, seamless fund routing, and merchant payments at once. It also caters to peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions. Collection requests that can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience. The idea was developed by the National Payments Corporation of India and is regulated by RBI and IBA (Indian Banks Association).

Keeping in view the above context, NPCI launched a pilot with 21 member banks. Pilot launch on 11th April 2016 in Mumbai by Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor, RBI. Banks have started uploading their UPI-enabled apps on Google Play Store on 25 August 2016.

Features of UPI:-

  • Instant transfer of funds through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) which is faster than NEFT.
  • Since this facility is completely digital, one can use UPI 24 hours a day and also on all public holidays.
  • Only a single mobile application for accessing various bank accounts.
  • It uses a virtual payment address which is a unique ID given by the bank
  • Uses account number with IFS code and mobile number with MMID or Mobile Money Identifier.
  • Requires MPIN or Mobile Banking Personal Identification Number.
  • Each bank offers its own UPI for different platforms of Android, Windows, and iOS. Banks may or may not charge for the UPI service.
  • It also provides bill sharing facility.
  • It is also the best medium for merchant payments, utility bill payments, in-app payments, OTC payments, barcode-based payments.
  • Any person can register his complaint directly from the mobile app.

Work of UPI:-

To use the UPI service, all users need to create a Virtual Payment Address or VPA of their choice. They have to link their created VPA with their bank account. VPA becomes a financial address of users and they do not need to remember details like beneficiary account number, IFSC code, or net banking user ID and password to send or receive money. This virtual address of the customer helps to create additional security for pull and push. The customer does not need to punch in these details again and again and there is no credential sharing.

Security in UPI:-

It is based on 2-way factor authentication with a seamless single-click payment interface. This feature of UPI is in line with the regulatory guidelines making it the most secure. 2 Factor Authentication is very similar to OTP. Here MPIN will be used instead of OTP.

NPCI Advisor, assures that the security with UPI is full-proof as the transactions will take place in a highly encrypted format.

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