What is UPI?
UPI or Unified Payments Interface is a mobile based payment service that directly transfers money from bank account to bank account.
Is it like PayTM or MobiKwik?
No. It is far better. These are 3rd party applications or “mobile wallets” which involve ‘loading’ money and ‘unloading’ to or from bank accounts. Often there is a transaction fee charged for withdrawing money into bank account.
In UPI there is no separate intermediary. Money is freely transferable.
There is no transaction fees and there never will be.
On the contrary even Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Net banking involve transaction fees
(You may not notice but this is charged from every vendor. The vendor obviously passes it on to you, in the form of higher prices)
Are there any limits?
There is a per transaction limit of Rs 1,00,000. That’s it!
In mobile wallets there is a yearly transaction limit of Rs 1,00,000. You need to submit a “minimum KYC” for using that. Minimum KYC means that you just need to give the ID number of any government approved identity document such as Aadhaar, Driving licence or Passport. On full KYC with physical verification you can do unlimited transactions subject to a per transaction limit of Rs 1,00,000. For transactions above Rs 50,000 you also need to give your PAN.
UPI on the other hand is free from all such limitations. There is no need of KYC because this it is operated by the banks themselves and the information submitted at the time of opening the Bank Account will be used.
Is it safe?
UPI is much safer than mobile wallets because all transactions are authenticated by a 4 to 6 digit ‘MPIN’. Also, in case your mobile is stolen, you can issue instructions to your bank to block payments. Only recently have mobile wallets improved their security to some extent, allowing users to set a pin that will authenticate every transaction.
Who runs it?
The interface is enabled by the ‘National Payments Corporation of India’ (NPCI). It is a not – for – profit company collectively owned by 56 scheduled commercial banks of the country. Each bank can have its own app. Payments can be made throughout the network.
How do I join?
Just download any UPI app from the around 40 apps provided by different banks.
One of the most user friendly and popular apps is PhonePe. It is a Flipkart group company that is powered by YES Bank. You DO NOT need to have an account of Yes Bank to use this.
You must select your bank(s) from the list. Your account will automatically be added from the mobile number that you have linked with your account. You do not need any account details. An OTP will be sent for verification.
Then you must create a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) that is exactly like an email address – but much simpler.
You have to enter Debit Card details to create the MPIN and you are good to go!
You can also use any other UPI enabled app as per your wish for joining the super convenient and safe method of mobile banking.
What are the other benefits?
You can transfer money to any bank account immediately even if they don’t have UPI. You just need the account number, IFSC and account holder name. The money will be transferred instantly using the IMPS (Immediate Payments System) that is interlinked with UPI.
You can add as many bank accounts as you want of over 90 different Banks. You can view the balance in any of your bank accounts at any time. You can transfer money from any of your bank accounts to any other with a simple swipe!
Once you send money, either to a UPI VPA or to a bank account, the details are automatically saved so that you don’t need to enter them again while making repeat transactions
This platform was launched by Raghuram Rajan, the previous RBI Governor during his tenure, and is being taken forward by Urjit Patel.
After the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, there has been a huge push for the Cashless economy.
And the best way to do it is, by far, the UPI.
This service is currently available on Android and iOS and even on certain feature phones and non-smartphones. UPI has been rebranded as BHIM UPI by the Modi Government, where BHIM stands for Bharat Interface for Money.
UPI is like an entire bank in your phone.
This can truly achieve the mission of Digital India and ensure that banking services reach every corner of the country.
This kind of a system is unique in the world. It is almost impossible to make fee free payments even in developed regions like USA and Europe. Only China has a system which is somewhat comparable. There, WeChat Payments by Tencent and Alipay by Alibaba allows bank to bank transfers. But even these are closed systems. India is at the forefront in digital payments technology currently, because UPI is an open and interoperable platform unparalleled across the globe.
So let’s go out and tell all shopkeepers, fruit vendors, milkmen, newspaper boys, maids, Chaiwalas, Chaatwalas and others to adopt this…
We as a country have the privilege of this wonderful system. Almost no other country does. Let’s use it fully and let’s use it well.
Would love to get feedback from people.
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