In an attempt to make payments hassle free and more secure, the Government of India has started initiating the movement towards digital payments using UPI. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an innovation introduced to enable and link multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application where ever the mobile number is registered for online transactions (like for validating otp, etc). It facilitates operation by merging banking transactions, seamless fund routing, balance querying and merchant payments into an application enabled through a PIN. It also addresses the requirements surrounding “Peer to Peer” payment requests which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience. There are a few UPI Applications (like PhonePe) for different mobile operating system platforms like Android, Windows and iOS.
However this is a step to move away from the Digital Wallets where the money is deposited (through regular top ups) within an intermediary. Therefore onus of protection of that money lies with the intermediary and not with the bank. Further in India, most of the digital wallets would charge a percentage of the transaction value, each time a transaction is made.
One such Mobile App which can address this much needed move towards a cashless economy using UPI based innovation is PhonePe. Introduced by Flipkart, this App is already creating headlines in terms of how it is facilitating customers moving towards a cashless economy. Some of the product USPs are as follows:
- High level of security for your account through the use of MPIN (similar to an ATM Pin)
- It is easy to change / generate MPIN for mobile banking through OTP.
- One does not need to expose bank account details to the receiver of funds, who gets a transfer based on an email like alias.
- Direct and secure bank-to-bank transfers using only the recipient’s registered mobile number are possible, without loss of privacy.
Although the technology is different, it offers a lot of benefits over other E-wallets which are increasingly growing in popularity. These UPI based apps like PhonePe offers flexibility of much higher transaction limits (30L/month as compared to 20K for wallets). The money stays in your account, and one can use it as per needs. So there is no need to pre-load money in wallet since the bank balance is used directly, and the money (however small) continues to be secure and earn interest. PhonePe for example is promising zero transaction charges for lifetime (while wallets will have to pay transactional charges post December 31, 2016).
So to try out this UPI based innovation, why don’t you check out the PhonePe app which can be downloaded from Google Play and use it directly for all transactions. Go ahead; support this move towards demonetization to fight corruption.