6 things to know about UPI-based banking apps

The unique identity of your mobile handset is one way in which UPI authenticates your identity.

Sneha Srivastava/Mint
Sneha Srivastava/Mint

In September, unified payment interface (UPI)-based apps hit Google Play Store. UPI allows you to send money the way you send a text message. But not all banks are on this platform yet. So far about 20 banks have got the nod to launch such apps. “We will have to give a couple of months for things to settle and get a real picture (of customer experience and number of users),” said Babu K.A., head–digital banking, The Federal Bank Ltd, whose UPI app is called Lotza.

The current upper limit per UPI transaction is Rs1 lakh.

What do I need to use the app? You need to have: a bank account, an Android smartphone and a registered mobile number linked to your bank account. Only bank accounts can be linked to the UPI app; you can’t link e-wallets. But you can have more than one such app, and also link multiple accounts to one app. As of now, UPI is available only on Android phones.

Do I need to register? Yes, if you want to transact using a virtual ID. It is usually in the form of xyz@bankname. Using this, you can keep information like bank account number and Aadhaar number hidden from the other party. It is also easier to remember.

To create a virtual ID, you have to register it with UPI. You can send money using it to others who also have such IDs, as well as to those using other forms of identification such as a bank account or Aadhaar number. You can receive money using your virtual ID from others who use it. If the beneficiary gives you a combination of an account number and Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) or mobile number and Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) or Aadhaar number, then she need not be registered with UPI. But for you to use any of these options, your bank has to enable them.

What are the different ways to transfer? Using a virtual ID is the easiest way. You can either transfer money to a UPI user, or give your credentials to another user who can pull money from your account. You can link several bank accounts to the same virtual ID.

If you don’t have a virtual ID, you can transfer funds from UPI using your account number and IFSC or mobile number and MMID or Aadhaar number.

If I lose my phone? The unique identity of your mobile handset is one way in which UPI authenticates your identity. If you lose the phone, get the number blocked so that it can’t be misused. Plus, since an MPIN is needed to complete the transaction, don’t share it with anyone.

What if the transaction doesn’t go through? If your account is debited but the transaction does not go through, the amount will be transferred back to your account immediately. You can also raise a complaint or check the status of the transaction on the app. But once a payment is initiated, you can’t stop it.

When do I have to re-register? If you change your UPI app, SIM or phone, you have to re-register. If you forget the MPIN, you have to generate a new PIN. When you register, some banks’ apps allow you to retain your virtual ID

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