While shopping online, you get payment options such as net-banking, credit cards and debit cards. Nowadays, most e-commerce companies also offer unified payments interface (UPI) to make payments. E-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart offer UPI-based payment services. UPI is a bank account linked instant payment system. It enables you to transact money between two bank accounts. If you have a bank account with UPI-enabled member bank and a mobile phone, you can start using UPI. But before that you need to download the UPI-enabled app.

The process

First you need to download UPI in your mobile phone. Then create a virtual ID. Your virtual ID is your name@bank name. Most banks have enabled a BHIM-based UPI payment system. You just need to log in to your mobile banking app. For instance, if you are an ICICI Bank customer, you will get a BHIM@ICCI icon. Click on it, and you will be directed to another page. Here you can either press the ‘send’ or ‘receive’ icon. Once you have linked your bank account and created a virtual ID namely name@bankname, you will be able to start using it to make payment on e-commerce websites.

Time and cost

If you are sending money instantly to another UPI account holder, UPI works faster than IMPS and NEFT mode of payments. In NEFT, you need to know the bank account number and IFSC. If you are making payment on UPI platform, you don’t need to do that. As of now as many as 100 banks have put in place UPI-based facility on their system. Currently, UPI transaction is for free as part of an initiative to promote digital transaction. However, most platforms allow you to transact only on the application or mobile browser.

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