By Elton Gomes
After witnessing a delay of several months, an upgraded version of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), UPI 2.0, was launched yesterday. The interface was officially launched in Mumbai with select members from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), banks, and the Reserve Bank of India in attendance. RBI governor Urjit Patel; State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Rajnish Kumar; and Nandan Nilekani, the non-executive chairman of Infosys, who is also the innovation advisor at the NPCI, formally launched the upgraded interface.
“We are happy to witness the revolution brought about by UPI in the last two years. Large number of banks, merchants, third-party players and consumers trusted this platform which resulted in substantial growth in terms of volume and value of transactions since its inception,” NPCI’s Chief Executive Officer Dilip Asbe said, MoneyControl reported. Originally launched in April 2016, the payment interface is regulated by the RBI and it works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on mobile platforms such as BHIM, Google Tez, or Paytm.
UPI is a system that enables an individual to operate multiple bank accounts through a single mobile application, thereby bringing several banking features, seamless fund routing, and merchant payments under one hood. In addition to having current and savings accounts, the upgraded version of the UPI will allow customers to overdraft accounts to UPI. Users will now be able to conduct transactions instantly and will be able to avail all benefits related to an overdraft account.
What’s new with UPI 2.0?
UPI 2.0 includes a feature wherein users can check an invoice sent by a merchant prior to making the payment. This feature will help customers to view and verify the sender’s credentials in order to ensure that it has come from the right merchant.
Another new option will help users while making payments by scanning QR codes. With a signed QR, issues concerning to QR tampering and having non-verified entities could be reduced. A signed QR enables customers to verify the authenticity of the receiver, and users will be informed if the QR is not secured. A speedy transaction will be possible as app passcode will not be required for a signed intent.
One Time Mandate is another new feature that enables users to create or pre-authorise a transaction and pay at a later date. This feature has been made available to both merchants and customers. The NPCI has said that a Mandate can be created and executed while the merchant will receive the money on the actual date of purchase. This feature could be helpful when customers need to book a cab and can only pay after reaching their destination. Similarly, it helps customers securely purchase a product online and pay for it upon delivery.
Expressing confidence over the launch of UPI 2.0, NPCI advisor, Nandan Nilekani said, “UPI is a path breaking innovation that is unprecedented globally. Its high volume, low cost and highly scalable architecture built on an open source platform is key to India’s transformation to a digital payment economy,” MoneyControl reported.
Undoubtedly a boost to India’s vision of digital payments, several banks have joined the UPI 2.0. Till date, State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Federal Bank, and HSBC have come on-board the new UPI. Other banks are likely to join UPI 2.0 in the coming two to three months.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius.
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