A cashless future is here with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) giving the green light for the United Payments Interface (UPI) to go live.
This platform will allow people to make everyday payments by transferring money using mobile banking apps.
Customers of several banks – to start with Axis Bank Ltd, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank Ltd, Bank of Maharashtra, Andhra Bank, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, and Vijaya Bank, among others – can use National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) UPI apps on the Google Play Store to safely and instantaneously transfer funds, almost as easily as sending text messages.
The UPI system uses a single identifier that does away with the need to exchange sensitive information, like bank account numbers and credit card details, while making financial transactions.
According to a report in Times of India, a key feature of this platform is: UPI enabled apps are inter-operable. What this means is that just as ATM of one bank can be used to access accounts of all banks in the network, any UPI-enabled app can be used to access accounts of other banks. Second, it overcomes one of the biggest pain points in sending money online — that of obtaining and entering 15-digit account numbers and 11 digit IFSC code. Instead of account details, the receiver has to merely share an alias like xyz@axisbank.
“Real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application at such a scale on inter-operable basis had not been attempted anywhere else in the world,” NPCI Managing Director and CEO A P Hota said in a statement.
NPCI had decided that only the banks with 1,000 pilot customers, 5,000 transactions and success rate of around 80% will be permitted to go live. “Such a threshold criteria helped banks to refine their systems and procedure,” Hota said.
Customers can use the UPI app for several purposes like transferring money to friends and relatives, buying movie and railway tickets, paying utility bills, over the counter payments, barcode (scan and pay) based payments, donations, school fees, etc.
One can also use it instead of paying cash on delivery on receipt of products from online shopping websites. This makes it ideal for high-frequency and low-value transactions.
Android users can download the UPI enabled mobile app from the Google Play Store. IOS users will have to wait a little longer.
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