NPCI Unveils New UPI Features to Achieve 100 Bn Monthly Transactions

Sep 07, 2023 / Reading Time: Approx. 4 mins

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NPCI Unveils New UPI Features to Achieve 100 Bn Monthly Transactions

During the Global Fintech Fest 2023, Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), introduced several revolutionary features from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to increase digital inclusivity with an aim to achieve 100 billion monthly transactions.

These innovations facilitate conversational payments via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) using 'Hello! UPI', streamline bill payments with BillPay Connect, NFC-based Tap and Pay facility, UPI Lite X, and also provides access to a Credit Line on UPI in collaboration with major banks.

Let's delve deeper into these functionalities and the transformative effect they will have on our UPI usage.

In an effort to push digital payments in the nation, Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), launched several new UPI products at the Global Fintech Fest 2023 on Wednesday, September 06.

As discussed, these fresh offerings, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), include a credit line integrated with UPI, offline payment solutions based on Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, namely UPI LITE X and Tap & Pay, and conversational payment solutions named Hello! UPI and BillPay Connect.

NPCI stated in a press release that these products are designed to establish an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable digital payments ecosystem within the country, aligning with previous announcements made by the central bank.

This move is part of NPCI's efforts to achieve a monthly transaction volume of 100 billion in the near future and to onboard more Indians into the realm of digital payments. Watch this video to learn the latest feature of UPI 2.0:

 

Credit Line on UPI:

This initiative introduces pre-approved credit lines from banks through UPI, and it will transform how customers access credit, leading to a more efficient and digital banking ecosystem.

According to NPCI, this endeavour includes several key features, including the integration of pre-approved credit lines, the creation of digital credit products offered by banks, the introduction of interest-free credit periods and associated interest rates, a clear schedule of charges, avenues for customers to request credit approvals, and the capability to connect various pre-approved credit lines through UPI-enabled apps for transactions.

To ensure smooth interoperability, all UPI apps, whether from banks or third-party providers, will have the ability to discover and link credit lines on UPI, as well as offer comprehensive customer lifecycle services. Currently, key payment apps, such as Paytm, Bhim, GooglePay, and PayZapp, are live with this feature.

Conversational Payment Solutions - Hello! UPI & BillPay Connect:

With this offering, NPCI allows users to effortlessly execute fund transfers by issuing voice commands and confirming the transaction with their UPI PIN.

For this initiative, NPCI has collaborated with the Bhashini Program - Al4Bharat at IIT Madras to jointly create payment language models in Hindi and English.

The introduction of conversational UPI payments will enhance the user experience by empowering them to conduct voice-assisted UPI payments using UPI Apps, telephone calls, and IoT devices in Hindi and English. NPCI also mentioned that this feature will soon be available in multiple other regional languages.

BillPay Connect enables users to retrieve and settle their bills using voice commands via their smart home devices. Furthermore, individuals using feature phones or those without an internet connection can utilise this product by sending a message or making a call to a single nationwide number to access and pay their bills. Subsequently, they will promptly receive a return call for verification and payment authorisation.

This feature will enhance digital payment accessibility for Indian citizens who are fluent in their native languages, especially senior citizens and those who are not tech-friendly, to use the existing payment options.

Moreover, through BillPay Connect, Bharat Bill Pay introduces a unified number for bill payments accessible throughout India. Customers can now easily retrieve and settle their bills via the messaging app. Furthermore, individuals with feature phones or no immediate mobile data connectivity can make bill payments by simply placing a missed call.

NFC-based UPI LITE X & Tap And Pay:

Last year, NPCI introduced UPI Lite, which permitted users to carry out small-value transactions without requiring them to input their PIN. UPI Lite X is essentially an expansion of this service.

UPI Lite X is a feature for offline payments that enables users to conduct both the sending and receiving of funds without the need for an internet connection. This extends the utility of UPI to various scenarios, including flights, underground metro stations, and various merchant locations. UPI Lite X also supports NFC-based payments.

In addition to UPI Lite X, NPCI also unveiled UPI Tap & Pay, a solution enabling users to make payments based on Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology. So, apart from regular Scan and Pay that requires an internet connection, users can now simply tap NFC-enabled QR codes and process the payment.

UPI Tap and Pay features compact cards equipped with NFC chips. These cards are linked to the user's distinctive QR code and UPI ID. To get one of these cards, users need to visit the nearest partnering bank and locate a self-service kiosk for generating contactless UPI cards. After selecting a card design from the available options, users scan their QR code, and the UPI ID is verified and connected to the card. The card is then instantly dispensed and can be affixed to mobile phones for tap-based payments.

This announcement comes in the wake of recent launches by competitors Pine Labs and Paytm, who introduced new versions of their point-of-sale (PoS) devices earlier this week. These updated devices enable merchants to accept NFC-based payments, further expanding the reach of this payment method.

In conclusion:

In August 2023, UPI marked a noteworthy achievement by registering more than 10.5 billion transactions in a single month, surpassing the previous month's figure of 9.96 billion. The cumulative value of transactions facilitated by this payment system reached Rs 15.76 lakh crore during the same period. Considering the Government's constant push for digital transactions and the introduction of such transformative features, it is possible for the NPCI soon to achieve the goal of 100 billion monthly transactions. The future of digital payments in India is bright!

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KETKI JADHAV is a Content Writer at PersonalFN since August 2021. She is an MBA (Finance) and has over seven years of experience in Retail Banking. Ketki specialises in covering articles around banking, insurance, personal finance, and mutual funds and has been doing it for over three years now.


Disclaimer: Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing.
This article is for information purposes only and is not meant to influence your investment decisions. It should not be treated as a mutual fund recommendation or advice to make an investment decision in the above-mentioned schemes.

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