A day after going live, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for banks is gathering steam.
Downloads of the app by bank customers from the Google Play Store crossed the 10,000 mark. Out of 21 banks whose UPI apps have been permitted by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), those of 13 are available on Google Play Store. These include Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Vijaya Bank, United Bank of India, Karnataka Bank and Catholic Syrian Bank.
However, the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India, and of Bank of Baroda are expected to join the UPI platform only in the next round, probably in September or October.
Bank executives said downloads and usage will pick up gradually, as customers become familiar with the features and get the confidence to operate. NPCI executives said with the app going live, the focus is on stabilising activity and to address glitches in operations, for which it would seek feedback from banks.
The launch was on Wednesday; the original NPCI deadline of July 31. Deferred because NPCI had said only lenders that had a 1,000 initial customers, 5,000 transactions and a 90 per cent success rate would be allowed to go live. Initially, 29 banks had tied up for the launch but only 21 have been able to meet the criteria so far.
Banks’ UPI apps are inter-operable. So, a customer’s multiple bank accounts can be added to a single bank’s UPI app. UPI is built on the existing Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) that allows real-time transfer of money and is also inter-operable across banks.
By using the app, one can transfer money to another person through a personalised virtual address (an alias to a bank account, allowing a customer’s account to be uniquely mapped), or mobile number or Aadhaar number. Neither payer or payee will have to share their bank account details, IFSC code, etc, with each other.
The other advantage is that a seller can also raise a payment request. As a result, it is also aimed to be used by merchants for invoice requests.