United Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant payment system which allows immediate transfer of funds from one bank account to another through a mobile phone platform. It is a single mobile application which can be used for accessing various bank accounts. Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a body regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), UPI is built over the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) infrastructure for instant transfer of funds. It is faster than National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and uses the Virtual Payment Address—a unique id provided by banks. UPI is controlled both by the RBI and Indian Bank Association (IBA).
Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is a smartphone based app which uses UPI technology to provide instant money transfer. Mobile payments app like Google Pay along with Finserv MARKETS App and digital wallets like Paytm, MobiKwik and PhonePe have BHIM UPI in their interface.
Advantages of UPI: The foremost benefit of UPI is the ease of carrying out a completely secure transaction. Other benefits are as follows:
According to NPCI’s data, there are a total of 141 banks supporting UPI payments in India. Of these, 48 use their own apps, while the rest rely upon third-party apps for carrying out UPI transactions.
UPI transactions in India: UPI has emerged as the major mobile-only digital payment platform in the country. The total number of UPI transactions stood at 82.22 crore in July 2019 as compared to 23.56 crore transactions in July 2018. The daily average transactions stood at 2.65 crore in July 2019, an increase of 248.68% from the figures of 76.01 lakh in July 2018. The total amount transacted on the UPI platform stood at a staggering Rs 1.46 lakh crore in July 2019. This amount reached an all-time high of Rs 1.52 lakh crore in May 2019.
Thus, United Payment Interface is a system which not only allows users to transfer money between various bank accounts but also acts as a single-window mobile payment system for a slew of payments like OTC payments, in-app payments, merchant payments and utility bill payments. The key highlight of United Payment Interface is the VPA, or the unique virtual ID, which absolves the user from the necessity of remembering multiple details like bank account number, IFSC code, net banking user id and password, etc. The VPA becomes the sole financial address of the user, thus allowing for fast, secure and convenient transactions.
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