Banks soon to lower UPI charges for merchants

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In a bid to boost the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the Central Government is planning to revoke account-to-account platform’s charges for merchants in the low-value segment.

In addition to this, the government has also offered benefits under the referral scheme for the BHIM app to the proprietary UPI apps of banks.

Further, banks have been allowed to make use of the BHIM brand for their own UPI apps to increase usage.

“The government has liberalised the Bhim referral programme to include all UPI referrals. We have also recommended that incentives to individuals for referrals be hiked from Rs 10 to Rs 25,” said A P Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI.

The referral programme was announced in the Union Budget for 2017-18 and it provides incentives to any user who can get another individual to activate a UPI ID.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers under UPI are free of cost currently but merchants are charged for receiving payments via this mobile-based system.

Public lender State Bank of India (SBI) and private lender HDFC Bank had proposed to introduce charges on peer-to-peer UPI transactions as well, with effect from June. HDFC Bank had announced a charge of Rs 3 and Rs 5 on transactions of up to Rs 25,000 and higher value remittances, respectively. However, the NPCI asked banks to avoid from imposing any charges until an industry-level decision is taken.