From the past few days, the whole country is talking about the newly launched BHIM app whose main focus is based on UPI. So, talking about the thing, what is UPI?
Unified Payment Interface (UPI) enables all bank account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones without the need to enter bank account information or net banking userid/ password.
What is unified payment interface?
Actually the thing is that National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced on Thursday that bank applications for the Unified Payment Interface have officially become operational, which means that UPI apps of banks can now be downloaded and used for transactions. UPI allows a customer to pay directly from a bank account to different merchants, both online and offline, without the woes of typing credit card details, IFSC code, or net banking or wallet passwords etc.
There’s been a lot of excitement about new UPI apps such like Axis Bank’s Axis Pay, ICICI’s Pockets, and Flipkart’s PhonePe, etc. Going a bit deep, let’s tell you that UPI is a payments system which is just like a cheque, your debit card, or a mobile wallet. The UPI is interoperable between banks, so it doesn’t matter if you have an account with Axis Bank or ICICI Bank or Yes Bank.
The UPI has gone live with 21 banks including most of the major banks but missing from the list right now is State Bank of India, but this is expected to change too within the course of time.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH UPI BASED APP?
- Download the app from Play Store and install in phone
- Set app login and password
- Create virtual address of yours
- Add your bank account easily
- Set your preferred M-Pin
- Start transacting using UPI easily over your phones.
UPI apps are based on the IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) system that you might have used with your netbanking app by now, and its available 24×7, even on Sundays and other holidays.
Where to use UPI apps?
Currently, there aren’t too many use cases for UPI in live mode. You can use UPI apps to do transfers, direct to a bank account for anybody.
This proves that these UPI apps are convenient for paying your rent, and some shops that sell high value items also allow you to make payments via bank transfers, and these will also be accessible.
You should be able to use the UPI online across major players with ease soon due to the launch of PhonePe by Flipkart.
How safe is UPI?
It is naturally very safe and convenient as the customers only share a virtual address and provide no other sensitive information.
How to use UPI?
You can instantly download a UPI app such as iMobile (for ICICI Bank customer) and Pockets (for ICICI/ non-ICICI Bank customers) and create your own Virtual Payment Address (VPA) such as xyz@pockets or xyz@icici to start using UPI for free over your devices. The features many vary from bank to bank.
What is VPA?
For using UPI, you will need to create a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) of your choice and link it to any of your preferred bank account. The VPA acts as your financial address but you need not remember beneficiary account number, IFSC codes or net banking user id/password for sending or receiving money to other users.
Are there any charges for using UPI?
With UPI, you will surely be paying the IMPS fee of Rs. 5 plus service tax. It’s what you would pay if you were to use netbanking anyway and apart from that, there is no additional fee for using UPI