India’s Unified Payments Interface gets more banks onboard
Unified Payments Interface (UPI), launched in April by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), will go live by the end of this month with 15 participating banks.
UPI offers instant, online bank payments, and is seen as a major change to the Indian financial sector. It enables banks to provide real-time payments through QR code enabled addresses and offers device fingerprinting for additional security.
At the April launch a few banks went live out of 29 banks (the number quoted at that time) that had agreed to provide UPI services to their customers.
Dilip Asbe, chief operating officer, NPCI, says: “We will be going live on all the 15 bank apps within the end of this month. The banks have already developed the applications and we are in the final stages of testing.”
Asbe says that for peer-to-peer payments, fees that need to be paid to NPCI and the beneficiary bank have been finalised.
“Once the app goes live, banks will need to integrate their systems with the leading ecommerce firms and thereby channel payments through the UPI app. Our main target is also peer-to-peer payments other than consumer spending,” says Asbe.
NPCI is keeping the 16-digit card number and its expiry date as the second factor of authentication, so this means only people with debit cards can use UPI.
“The first factor is the mobile number, which will get verified through the one-time password, but for the second factor we chose the debit card because it has the highest reach in the country,” says Asbe.
NPCI is also looking further into QR code-based payments to reduce the reliance on POS terminals to accept digital payments.