NPCI Hackathon attempts to fast track digital payments adoption

The payments landscape in India is set to undergo a radical shift in the coming five years. NPCI, the umbrella organization for retail payments in India, through its various products, is creating an ecosystem that allows e-payments to proliferate. Its upcoming ‘Unified Payments Interface’ (UPI) architecture can bring in a revolution with interoperable and instant payments through single interface and identifier.

At a recent press conference in Bengaluru, AP Hota, MD & CEO of NPCI, announced the launch of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Hackathon in association with Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT). “NPCI would support banks and solution providers to develop solutions based on the Application Programming Interface (APIs) made available by us”, he said.

The UPI Hackathon was launched by Nandan Nilekani, Honorary Advisor to NPCI along with Balachandran M, Chairman NPCI, Hota and key officials of iSPIRT including Sharad Sharma, the co-founder at iSPIRIT.

Over 300 participants comprising technical team of banks, payments banks and payment solution developer organizations nominated themselves for UPI Hackathon.

Hackathon will be conducted in multiple tracks primarily for two categories –Software based problem solving – online or onsite event version and Workshop format to solve a real life problem that is plaguing the industry.

Participants shall use the API provided in the sandbox (set of rules that programmers need to use) to develop products/services to generate multiple solution options for each of the perspectives. An eminent panel of jury from iSPIRT and NPCI will evaluate the submissions and winning products/ services will be announced by mid-March.

UPI is the next generation payment system and it has the potential to revolutionize retail payments in India. A key feature of UPI is that it would provide interoperable and instant payments driven over the mobile platform. Besides that a customer will be able to make payments by providing just a single identifier like Aadhaar number or a virtual address.

UPI will offer architecture and set of APIs to facilitate the next generation online immediate payments. It will leverage trends such as increasing smartphone adoption, deepening penetration of mobile data, Indian language interfaces etc. UPI will empower users to perform both push and pull transactions seamlessly transforming the way customers will make payments in the coming months.