Imagine you have ordered a product online, and opted for cash on delivery service. The courier guy arrives with the package, and after you have checked the product, you fire your new UPI (Unified Payment Interface) app, insert the ecommerce firm’s unique identifier and payment is done within 5 seconds flat.
No need of handling the cash, no need of knowing complex bank account numbers, IFSC codes and no need for irritating OTPs for transferring the amount.
The improvised era of cashless economy is now live, as RBI has allowed banks to launch their UPI apps, and have allowed users with a smartphone and a bank account to shop, pay and order products without using actual cash.
The ecommerce example can now be extended to paying for movie tickets, shopping groceries from your neighbourhood store, paying for your dinner at the roadside dhaba, purchasing railways/airline/bus tickets, paying insurance premium, depositing school fees and even giving charity.
A unique identifier, which can be your mobile number or a virtual address like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (if you are using Union Bank’s UPI app, for example) is all you need to make or accept payments from any Indian citizen.
UPI will work 24*7, 7 days a week and 365 days a year; and the notification of the payment or any error would be instantly delivered. Peer to peer transactions and peer to merchant transactions, from as low as Rs 50 to as high as Rs 1,00,000 can be done using UPI apps.
In a letter sent to bank officials on Wednesday night, departing RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan allowed them to launch their respective apps on Google Play Store. Users of iPhone need to wait for 4-6 months for getting their UPI apps.
A.P. Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI (which runs UPI), said, “RBI gave us the approval for a public launch and we have asked banks to upload their UPI-enabled apps within the next 2-3 working days. Once the apps are placed in the application store, customers should be able to start using it,”
As per reports coming in, the following banks have either already launched their apps or they are in the process of launching them within few days:
- Axis Bank
- Andhra Bank
- Bank of Maharashtra
- Bhartiya Mahila Bank
- DCB Bank
- Canara Bank
- Catholic Syrian Bank
- Federal Bank
- ICICI Bank
- Oriental Bank of Commerce
- Karnataka Bank
- UCO Bank
- Union Bank of India
- United Bank of India
- Punjab National Bank
- South Indian Bank
- Vijaya Bank
- Yes Bank
- TJSB Sahakari Bank Ltd.
RBL and IDBI Bank customers have been allowed to link their bank accounts to any UPI based app, and transact their payments easily.
ICICI Bank will upgrade their existing iMobile app and Pockets App so accommodate UPI based payments. Axis bank will also enable UPI on their existing apps.
HDFC, SBI and Kotak Mahindra Bank will launch their separate UPI apps in the next 2-3 weeks.
Banks React Positively
As we checked Google Playstore, we found UPI apps from the following banks available for download:
Besides, bank officials have reacted positively to the RBI’s command of launching their respective apps.
Sangram Singh, head, cards and payments business, Axis Bank said, “We are going live on the app store today (Thursday) evening with Axis Pay app. We have already sent out the app for upload and usually it takes 4-6 hours to show up on the app store. If you are our customer or a customer of any bank that is part of the NPCI list of banks released today, you will be able to do a transaction,”
Deepak Sharma, chief digital officer, Kotak Mahindra Bank, said, “We are in the process of development and certification of UPI-enabled app. We will be launching a new app for it as we believe that there are different use cases for payment process. It should be out in 4-6 weeks,”
If you are using UPI as your payment mode, then do let us know your experience, by commenting right here."Biggest Disruption in Cashless Economy: RBI Approves UPI Apps For Instant Digital Payments",