Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a big boost for cashless transaction.  It is an online payments solution that will facilitate the transfer of funds instantly between person to person (or peer to peer) using a smartphone. It is the brainchild of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that was launched by the then RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on April 2016.

To know about UPI-based digital payment app “Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)”, please click  “BHIM In-depth: All You Need to Know About Bharat Interface for Money for Cashless Payments.”

Till date, 28 banks have released Android apps for UPI and a few have iOS apps too.

Lets’ Know About Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

UPI Platform

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) facilitates all bank account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones as there is no need to enter bank account information or net banking user id/ password. The service is instant and available 24×7, even on public/bank holidays.

UPI works on the IMPS platform which is an instant fund transfer system. The Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) is one of the electronic funds transfer systems in India started by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It offers instant 24×7 inter bank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones.

For using UPI, you need to create a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) of your choice and link it to any bank  account. The VPA acts as your financial address & you also not to remember beneficiary account number, IFSC codes or net banking user id/password for sending or receiving money. You can transfer/receive funds in simple steps by providing the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) of the beneficiary. Also, there is no pre-registration required for the beneficiary.

Key Features of UPI

  1. At present, the upper limit per UPI transaction is  1 Lakh.
  2. Instant transfer of funds on 24×7 basis, even on public/bank holidays.
  3. Works on the “unique id” system. This unique ID is called UPI -ID.
  4. Provide facility to send and receive money using either of  Virtual Payment Address (VPA), Aadhaar Number, Account Number and IFSC, Mobile Number and Mobile Money Identifier (MMID)(MMID may be generated through Mobile Banking).
  5. UPI allow a customer to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks.
  6. In order to ensure privacy of customer’s data, there is no account number mapper anywhere other than the customer’s own bank. This allows the customer to freely share the financial address with others.
  7. The UPI payment works on 1-click 2-factor authentication for secure transaction. (In “1-click 2-FA”  authentication, UPI allows all transactions using Device Fingerprint as the first factor & PIN/Biometrics as second factor of authentication).
  8. For UPI app, customer can also use the mobile number or Aadhaar number as the name instead of the short name for the virtual address.
  9. No need to remember or share account details when using Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
  10. Customer can transfer money using Virtual Payment Address (VPA) without adding the beneficiary.

How to Get Started with UPI

You must have smartphone with internet facility to get started with UPI. Now, the procedure of registration process of UPI app:

SBI Pay app
Get started with SBI PAY UPI app for cashless transaction
        1. Mobile No.: Register your mobile no. in your bank or ATM.
        2. Download & Install: Download Download UPI app from bank’s website/ Google Play Store ( or download 3rd party app such as PhonePe).
          PhonePe is the India’s first Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based mobile payments app.
        3. Virtual Payment Address (VPA): Launch the app after installation and create the login id and your Virtual Payment Address (VPA).
        4. Unique ID: Choose your unique ID such as AADHAR and Mobile no.
        5. Profile: Create your profile by entering details like name, Virtual ID (payment address), password, etc.
PhonePe
PhonePe-India’s first UPI based mobile payments app
        1. Bank Account: Add your Bank Account details for registration.
        2. Link: Now, go to “Add/Link/Manage Bank Account” option and link the bank account number with the Virtual ID.
        3. M-PIN: Finally, M-PIN will be generated. Set M-PIN for validations transactions.
        4. After this process, your UPI Registration Process will be completed.

Banks with Official UPI Apps

Click on Bank names for downloading the UPI Apps.

Allahabad Bank Andhra Bank Axis Bank Bank of Maharashtra Bank of Baroda
Canara Bank Catholic Syrian Bank Central Bank of India Dena Bank DCB Bank
Federal Bank HDFC Bank ICICI Bank IndusInd Bank IDFC Bank
Karnataka Bank Kotak Mahindra Bank Oriental Bank of Commerce Punjab National Bank (PNB) RBL Bank
South Indian Bank State Bank of India (SBI) TJSB Bank UCO Bank Union Bank of India
United Bank of India Vijaya Bank YES BANK

How to Create Virtual Payment Address(VPA)

The Virtual Payment Address (VPA) is an address that replaces your bank account details though which you transfer money into your bank account. To use UPI App it is must to create VPA.

        1. Tap on “Add a Bank Account.”
        2. Select “VPA”. It could be your name, mobile number or even a nick name.

Let me clear you, the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) has two parts like an email-ID. For example-technosavie@PNB or 9100091000@PNB. The suffix would be fixed word i. e. @PNB, while you can choose the Prefix. The prefix can be your name, phone number or anything you want.

        1. After choosing perfect prefix for your VPA, enter your name, email address, security question-answer and choose the bank which has your account.
        2. Tap on the checkbox of terms and condition.
        3. Submit the form.
        4. In the next page, you would be shown the last few digits of your account number.
        5. Be assured and tap on ‘Register’.
        6. By this way, you can create your unique VPA.
        7. You can use your VPA in place of bank account or IFSC code to send/receive money.

How to Generate MPIN for UPI Payment

You have to generate the MPIN by giving your debit card details.

        1. Go to the Account management page.
        2. Select the bank account from which you want to initiate the transaction.
        3. You will get two options:
          • Mobile Banking Registration/Generate MPIN
          • Change M-PIN
        4. Tap on Mobile Banking Registration/Generate MPIN.
        5. You will receive OTP from the Issuer bank on his/her registered mobile number.
        6. Now enter last 6 digits of Debit card number and expiry date.
        7. Then, enter OTP and enters your preferred numeric MPIN (MPIN that you would like to set) and tap on Submit.
        8. After tapping submit, you will gets notification (successful or decline).
        9. With this,  the MPIN has been set for UPI payment.

How to Change MPIN for UPI Payment

The process to change MPIN is same as above in “How to Generate MPIN for UPI Payment”. Simply you’ve to select “Change MPIN” option instead of “Mobile Banking Registration/Generate MPIN”. Then

        1. Enter old MPIN and preferred new MPIN (MPIN to be set) and tap on ‘Submit’.
        2. After tapping submit, you gets notification (successful or failure).

How to Send Money Through UPI

Through UPI, you can easily transfer money to your friends, relatives, etc. To understand the transaction process, assume that “Miss. Madhu” have to send  10,000 to her friend “Miss Varsha” though UPI app.  For this, Miss Madhu have to first Log-in to her bank’s UPI application. After successful login, she have to tap on “Send Money / Payment” option.

Transfer money through ICICI Bank Pocket Wallet-UPI app
Transfer money through ICICI Bank Pocket Wallet-UPI app
        1. Bank A/c No.: Afterwards, Miss Madhu have to select the bank account number to be debited.
        2. Virtual ID: After selecting the bank account no. to be debited, she have to enter Miss Varsha’s (beneficiary/Payee) Virtual ID (VPA) and 10,000 (amount) to be sent, and shall have to write remarks for transaction.
        3. Review: Then, a confirmation screen will appear displaying  Miss Madhu’s payment details. Review and confirm it.
        4. Security: In order to initiate safe transaction, the UPI app will ask for a mobile pin to authenticate the payment. Miss Madhu will have to enter MPIN to authorize the transaction. Finally, after successful authorization the 10,000 will be transferred to the Miss Varsha’s bank account immediately.
        5. Beneficiary: Miss Madhu need not to register Miss Varsha before transferring funds through UPI as the fund would be transferred on the basis of Virtual ID/ Account+IFSC / Mobile No+MMID / Aadhar Number.

With this, Miss Madhu has easily transferred 10,000 to her friend Miss Varsha through UPI app.

Note: In case of Virtual ID transaction, the beneficiary needs to have a Virtual ID and in turn be registered with UPI for receiving funds but in case of Account+IFSC or Mobile+MMID, Aadhar number, the beneficiary need not be registered for UPI.

How to Receive Money Through UPI

Through UPI, you can easily receive money from your friends, relatives, etc. To understand this process, assume that “Miss Madhu” wants to receive 5000 from her friend Miss Varsha”. For this, Miss Madhu first Log-in to her bank’s UPI application.Then, after successful login-

Receive Money Through UPI
Receive Money Through ICICI Bank Pockets Wallet -UPI
            1. Request: Miss Madhu have to select the option of collect money (request for payment).
            2. Virtual ID: Then, she have to enter Virtual ID of Miss Varsha, 5000 (amount) and account to be credited.
            3. Review: Then, a confirmation screen will appear displaying her payment details. Review and confirm it.
            4. Request money: Miss Varsha (payer or sender) will get the notification on her mobile for request of Rs. 5000 from Miss Madhu.
            5. Review Payment Request: Now, Miss Varsha tap on the notification and will open her bank’s UPI app where she reviews payment request.
            6. MPIN: Then, Miss Varsha will have to tap on “accept or decline” the request of money from Miss Madhu. In case of “accept” payment, Miss Varsha will enter MPIN to authorize the transaction.
            7. Transaction: After successful transaction, Miss Varsha will gets notification and SMS from bank for credit of her bank account.

With this, Miss Madhu will get 5000 from her friend Miss Varsha through UPI app. Don’t you think, is that simple!

Excerpts of Limits and Rules of UPI

            1. There is transaction ceiling of upto 1 lakh per day and it works only inside Indian territory. Thus, you can’t transfer money abroad using UPI.
            2. Governed by the UPI Procedural Guidelines based on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
            3. Every UPI app must have its own grievance redressal mechanism.
            4. The system supports only debit-based accounts, which means credit cards cannot operate on the UPI and customers can only spend what they have in their bank accounts.
            5.  You will not be able to link NRE/NRO Accounts under UPI.
            6. Once the payment is initiated through UPI app, it cannot be stopped.

Customer Complaints:

          1. In case of any customer complaints regarding non refund for failed transactions and/or non-credit
            for successful transactions shall be dealt by the Payment Service Providers (PSPs)/Bank.
          2. Any complaint about credit not being given to a beneficiary should be dealt with conclusively and bilaterally by the remitting and beneficiary banks as per the guidelines circulated by NPCI from time to time.
          3. In case of any complaints related to UPI transactions, the first point of contact for customer will be the customer’s PSP. Customer’s Payment Service Provider (PSP) has to mandatory provide option in their App to  raise dispute/complaint by providing transaction reference/Id number.
          4. Though, if customer decides to approach his/her remitter/beneficiary bank instead, the respective banks shall entertain all such requests and help to resolve the complaint to the customer’s satisfaction.
          5. The PSP must provide to customers, the option of checking the current status of a transaction in the PSP App.
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