Since last year’s demonetization, the Indian government’s push towards digital payments has only become stronger. Fortunately, many in the country, including customers and businesses, have been quite supportive of the initiative. Lately, a lot of foreign and domestic companies operating in India, have integrated Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to offer ease of payments – Samsung Pay, Olacabs and Hike Messenger to name a few. And now, the cab hailing company, Uber, has partnered with HDFC Bank and Axis Bank to integrate UPI-based payments within its app.
Uber has already started to rollout out the update to both Android and iOS devices. However, it is happening in phases, and it may take a while until you start receiving the update. Uber also announced a special partnership with the BHIM app at the event, wherein it essentially is encouraging both riders and drivers to use the app for the sheer simplicity and ease it offers.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Electronics and Information technology, who officially launched the new integration, said, “India’s digital economy will become a $1trillion economy in the next five years. India’s digital payments economy alone will be bigger than $500 billion. Integration of Uber app with UPI-BHIM will boost the digital economy of India.”
Until now, Uber users could only pay their cab fares via credit/debit cards, Paytm or Airtel Money app. However, after today’s announcement, along with the mentioned options, UPI will be an additional payment option available to riders. It is interesting to note here, that Uber’s biggest India rival Olacabs had rolled out UPI-based payments back in April 2017.
How do I setup and use UPI in my Uber app?
There are two ways to use UPI within the app. The first being for users who already have been using UPI in their native bank app, they can simply use their payment address to complete transactions. The second method is for the first-time UPI users, who can now follow a one-time registration flow right within the Uber app.
Setting up UPI within the app is simple. Head to the Payments tab in the menu drawer, and choose other payment method. Now along with credit/debit card option, you will also see a new UPI option. Tap on that to setup, and you see a list of banks you can choose from. Once you select your bank, choose your UPI pin, and you are good to go.
You would no longer need to go through this process every time. After you have added your UPI to the app, next time you just have to choose UPI as your payment method, and use your mPIN to authenticate the transaction.
How are UPI-based transactions beneficial?
There are a bunch of benefits that come with the UPI integration to the app. First of all, you are making a direct bank to bank transfer in an instant, without actually revealing your account number to the driver. Secondly, like with credit/debit card, you don’t need to authenticate every time you choose it for payment, and then fill in OTP. With UPI, the payment process is as quick as unlocking your phone with a passcode.
Third, according to the recent rule Uber had with Paytm, a user had to keep a minimum balance of about Rs 250 in their wallet to make payments through it. Even if your trip cost you Rs 80, you had to have a minimum balance amount in the wallet. With UPI there is no such rule anymore. As long as you have that money in your bank, you have no minimum balance to maintain.
UPI is supported by over 50 banks in India, and UPI transactions grew 10 percent to nearly 12 million in July 2017. A month prior to that, it crossed Rs 3,000 crore in transaction value, according to NPCI data. About 22 percent of these are merchant-based transactions. A host of major merchants like Amazon, Ola and Android Pay have either integrated or are in the process of integrating UPI on their platforms.