21 banks to go live with Unified Payments Interface, says NPCI

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India, on Thursday announced that customers of 21 banks will shortly be able to use Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for sending and collecting money via a smartphone using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

UPI will also provide an option for scheduling push and pull transactions for various purposes like sharing bills among peers.

One can use UPI app instead of paying cash on delivery on receipt of product from online shopping websites and can pay for miscellaneous expenses like paying utility bills, over the counter payments, barcode (scan and pay) based payments, donations, school fees and other such unique and innovative use cases.

UPI will allow a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks.

In order to ensure privacy of customer’s data, NPCI, in a statement said, 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. A customer can also decide to use the mobile number as the name instead of the short name for the virtual address like “1234567890@xyz”.

A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI, said “This is a success of enormous significance. Real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application at such a scale on interoperable basis had not been attempted anywhere else in the world. Now the UPI App will be made available on Google Play Store by banks.”

After assessing the success of pilot run, RBI had accorded their final approval for public launch of the product. NPCI had decided that only the banks with 1,000 pilot customers, 5,000 transactions and success rate of around 80 percent would be permitted to go live. Such a threshold criteria helped banks to refine their systems and procedure.

The UPI app of 19 banks will be available on the Google Play Store in next two to three working days for the customers to download and start using. The relevant details of the service would be available on the website of 21 banks.