While mobile wallets have capitalised on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive and emerged as the big gainers, the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI) had been a no-show until a recent marketing push by the government. Despite being a platform that could have solved the cash crunch, UPI hasn’t really got the kind of traction it probably deserves among both consumers and merchants.
(Also see: Wallet Companies Are Expanding, but Where Is UPI?)
UPI allows you to make payments directly from your bank account, just like you can pay using a debit card, by netbanking, or via a cheque. You need to have a registered mobile number with your bank, and this is used to verify your account. When you sign up on a UPI app the system takes the requisite information courtesy your mobile number. Once your mobile number is verified with the UPI app, you can create your Virtual Payment Account (VPA) and an mPIN to start making transactions using the service.
(Also see: All You Need To Know About UPI)
At present, around 30 banks have joined the UPI platform, with more than 20 UPI apps already available on Google Play and Apple App Store. The beauty of the UPI system is that you can register on (for example) the Axis Bank UPI App, but link any of your bank accounts, whether it is HDFC Bank, or Union Bank. Some UPI apps also act as mobile wallets, while others allow users to make purchases, such as mobile or DTH recharges, using the UPI. These include ICICI Bank’s Pockets app, and the Flipkart and Yes Bank-powered PhonePe.
(Also see: How the Unified Payments Interface Will Evolve)
Making transactions via UPI apps entails a charge of Rs. 5, plus service; this is the amount banks charge for making payments via IMPS netbanking too, which makes sense, since IMPS is actually the backbone of the UPI.
Links to Download UPI Apps
1. SBI Pay: Android
2. HDFC Bank MobileBanking: Android
3. ICICI Pockets: Android
4. ICICI iMobile: Android, iOS
5. Axis Pay UPI App: Android
6. Union Bank UPI App: Android
7. PNB UPI: Android
8. PhonePe: Android, iOS
9. Canara Bank UPI – eMpower: Android
10. United UPI: Android
11. Andhra Bank ONE – UPI App: Android
12. UCO UPI: Android
13. Bank of Maharashtra – Maha UPI: Android
14. Vijaya UPI: Android
15. South Indian Bank – SIB M-Pay (UPI Pay): Android
16. KBL SMARTz (UPI): Android
17. OBC UPI PSP: Android
18. UPI Bank Transfer with Friends: Android
19. DCB Bank UPI App: Android
20. Lotza - UPI: Android
21. TranZapp – UPI: Android
22. CSB UPI: Android