By Rohit Taneja for e27
One technology that has emerged of late goes by the name of Unified Payments Interface or UPI. It has become pretty popular recently in the news in India, although most consumers have not been able to experience the revolution and the magic moment that comes along when paying through UPI.
Part of that stems from the myths that keep floating around, regarding how it might not be that secure and worthwhile. Well, allow me to put all of these doubts at ease through this post.
Let us take all the salient features of UPI one by one:
1. Bye-bye long account numbers and IFSC codes
- Now, there is no need to ask anyone for their account numbers or IFSC codes when sending or receiving money. Apart from the fact that remembering long account numbers and IFSC codes is cumbersome, entering those on a small screen/app is painful (especially considering that the user experience of banking websites and apps is mostly terrible).
- Of course, the question is now what replaces these two, if they are not in the picture any more. Say hello to virtual address (which looks like sunnyrohit@ybl, where the first part is a unique ID set by you and the second part is determined by the bank/app which processes your payments). This virtual address is automatically mapped to your bank account by NPCI when you register for the first time.
- The first thing to observe is that since you no longer need to share your account details (number and IFSC code) with anyone, hence they are completely hidden from everyone else.
- Secondly, what this process does is that it takes your user level identification to a more abstract level where the virtual address (or in our case – mobile number) becomes the key information to know or share with anyone. And sharing it is completely harmless as a common person cannot extract any info from that.
2. Send and receive money instantly, 24×7 and even on a holiday
- Needless to say, this is a game changer, especially in this new economy where demonetisation has brought cash to a near standstill and banks/ATMs are clogged up. Not to mention that when sending/receiving money, we don’t even need to think what day and time it may be.
- Actually, UPI is built on the existing layer of IMPS (Immediate payment service), which has been running smoothly since 2010. Hence, the key thing to note here is that the basic security concepts have stood the test of time for six years now. Not to mention that they have improved along the way and many more locks as well as checks have been added on top.
3. Linked exclusively to your mobile device
- This is a no-brainer as everybody has their personal mobile with them 24×7. And it is also the first device that we think of nowadays when receiving/sharing anything on a speedy basis.
- Also not to worry, you can link multiple bank accounts as well with the same virtual address. As well as un-link/delete accounts at any point of time.
- Firstly, it is important to remember that your virtual address gets mapped to your device exclusively. Now couple this with the fact that for making any payment (peer to peer and peer to merchant), you need to enter your M-pin (a secure 6 digit pin set by you for the first time), and then you can see how it is a perfect closed loop.
- Even if anybody gets hold of your device, they cannot do anything until or unless they have your M-pin. Similarly, for resetting your M-pin, you would need your debit card details (completely separate from your device information for security reasons)
4. No minimum amount
A single user can also do 5 transactions totalling up to Rs. 1 Lakh (around US$1,500) daily.
- Taking all common scenarios, a total amount of Rs. 1 Lakh is good enough to cover all your daily needs be it online/offline. And again the number of transactions can easily be covered within the limit of 5 per person. Hence, yay to good lifestyle needs!
- These velocity checks also ensure that nobody can wipe out or cause any major havoc in anyone’s bank account (although as we discussed, the chances of any data compromise are next to nothing).
- Also, remember that all these aspects and features are valid for non-banking UPI apps (like ours) that have partnered with a bank or individual bank’s UPI apps as well
In today’s age of lightning speed information and open access, keep no room for confusions or myths in your life. It is time to embrace the change and be a part of a much more awesome and well-built economic infrastructure via UPI.
First appeared at e27