Unified Payment Interface or UPI has been relaunched as UPI 2.0, which according to the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), comes with a new set of features for consumers as well as merchants.
UPI has been aggressively promoted by NPCI with incentives getting bulk of the attention from users. Previously, UPI was launched with Uber, when the service went live in India, letting regular riders pay for using the cab-hailing service via the digital platform, without needing a one-time password (OTP).
Mobile payment platforms like Paytm and Mobikwik among others also started accepting UPI payments, in addition to over 30 banks already signed up. But experts pointed out that more features could be added to UPI, which has resulted in the creation of UPI 2.0 now. So, what does UPI 2.0 offer the user? Here are some of the highlights.
Signed Intent And QR
“With this option, while making payments using the intent or through scanning QR, the user will get additional security in the form of signed QR / intent,” says NPCI on its website.
In simple words, consumers can be assured about the legitimacy of the the person receiving the money and will be informed if the QR code is not secure. If a particular user has signed up for the QR then a transaction can be done faster as app passcodes will not be required.
QR payments haven’t reached a high scale in the country, mostly because other forms of payment like mobile-to-mobile (especially during demonetisation) became prevalent. Most people weren’t sure of its security and UPI 2.0 seems to be fixing those loopholes now.
One-time Mandate Payment
NPCI is letting users make one-time payment that can be pre-authorised, which will be debited from your bank account later.
“UPI mandate is to be used in scenarios where money is to be transferred later, however the commitment towards that is to be done now. The customer's account shall get debited when the mandate is executed.” NPCI states.
More Features Coming
- Banks will be able to provide overdraft facilities to customers against funds they hold in their savings bank accounts, through the improved payments interface.
- Customers will also be allowed to view invoices before they approve a transaction where a merchant has requested payments on UPI.
Around 10 banks like HDFC, SBI, ICICI, Axis, HSBC and Kotak among others have agreed to participate in the debut run of UPI 2.0. While others functioning in the payment ecosystem will begin to use it in the next two months.
The service has already been launched, but some experts have voiced their concerns that UPI 2.0 has been made public without going through any consultation from shareholders.
Does this hurried approach with the launch suggest that NPCI was looking to quickly increase the number of transactions on the platform in 2018? It’ll be interesting to see if these additions to UPI have a positive impact for the payments entity.