Mumbai: Have you used unified payments interface (UPI) yet? According National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the transaction value on UPI crossed 1 trillion and the volume stood at 620.17 million in December. What started as a peer-to-peer transaction platform in August 2016 picked up pace with merchant transaction options in 2018. If you have never used UPI before for merchant payments, here is how it works and what you should know:

Pay bills, make purchases

If you are not aware about UPI yet, it is basically a payment option available for you to send money to individuals, make bill payments and purchase goods and services. Though there are multiple payment options such as net banking, credit cards, debit cards and mobile wallets, UPI allows you to send money to individual or merchant’s bank account without providing any details such as debit card number, CVV, account number or Indian Financial System Code (IFSC). Here you need to just have to give UPI ID such as name@bankname an individual if she needs to send or receive money. The UPI ID will be linked to your bank account, registered mobile number and you need to have a mobile phone to complete the transaction. In August 2016, UPI started as a person-to-person payment option. By the end of 2018, it has matured in person-to-merchant transaction.

Though taxi-hailing services had started enabling UPI in 2017, merchant platforms for telecom, utility bills, food tech companies and online e-commerce companies also started providing UPI as a payment option in 2018. Multiple service providers give you the option to make payments through UPI. “In 2018, a lot of large business such as IRCTC, Oyo Rooms and Bookmyshow went live with UPI payments," said Shashank Kumar, co-founder and chief technology officer, Rayzorpay. Online e-commerce platforms such as Amazon also started offering UPI last year. You can also make your investments through UPI. For instance, Scripbox.com, a mutual fund online investment platform, launched payment option using UPI in December. “We spoke to users and found they were using UPI for other transactions. Also, it

is a seamless experience for an immediate payment. The current alternative is to use net banking gateway, which requires two-factor authentication. The success rate is high in case of UPI," said Sanjiv Singhal, founder and chief operating officer, Scripbox.com.

Is it seamless?

If you are used to net banking, the UPI payment process may not be seem as seamless because you need to switch from one app to another when you are making a transaction on your mobile phone. If you are doing the UPI transaction through a browser on your laptop or desktop, you will have to go to your mobile app, which is Upi-enabled, to complete the process. In case of net banking, the page auto directs you to net banking page to proceed with the payments, which makes it more seamless than UPI. However, if it is pitched against a credit card or debit card payment option, UPI is more seamless to complete the transaction.

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