With an aim to revolutionise mobile banking in the country, the National Payments Corporation of India– an umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, on Monday rolled out Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
The biggest benefit of UPI is that it will be a single app for accessing different bank accounts. Anyone who possess an account should be able to send and receive money from their mobile phone with just a virtual address, which will not have any bank account details.
NPCI managing director and CEO A P Hota said that at present only a few handful banks have gone live with UPI out of 29 banks that had agreed to provide UPI service to their customers. “We are highly optimistic that many other banks will join UPI this year and the number will multiply further,” he added.
“It facilitates ‘virtual address’ as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money,” an NPCI statement said.
Unveiling the new platform, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said that the UPI will empower users to perform instant push and pull transactions seamlessly.
Rajan said that the Reserve Bank of India is taking a bet on payment banks so that these new entities can push the banking systems to be innovative.
According to reports, the interface is the advanced version of NPCI’s Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) which is a 24X7 funds transfer service. UPI will offer a facility to identify a bank customer with an email-like virtual address. It will allow a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks.
NPCI wants to cater to the growing needs of people aggressively using mobile banking which has seen a steep surge in the recent months in the country, sources said.
“To ensure privacy of customer’s data, there is no account number mapper anywhere other than the customer’s own bank. This allows the customer to freely share the financial address with others,” NPCI said. As an instance, “A customer of any bank can also decide to use the mobile number as the name instead of the short name for the virtual address like 1234567890@sbi”.