NPCI initiates an ecosystem for Unified Payments Interface

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | February 18, 2015 14:52 IST

The new interface is designed to enable all account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones with a single identifier

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment system in India, has taken up a new initiative of implementing “Unified Payment Interface” to simplify and provide a single interface across all systems.

The new interface is designed to enable all account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones with a single identifier – Aadhaar number, mobile number, virtual payments address – without entering any bank account information.

“This unified layer, which offers next generation peer-to-peer immediate payment just by using personal phone, uses existing systems such as IMPS, AEPS, to ensure settlement across accounts. The usages of existing systems ensure reliability of payment transactions across various channels,” says AP Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI.

NPCI presented a Live demo transactions involving a few select banks during the event, which was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Dr Raghuram Rajan, Governor, RBI and attended by Nandan Nilekani, ex-Chairman, UIDAI; Smt V R Iyer, CMD of Bank of India; Balachandran M, Chairman, NPCI and AP Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI.

UPI is a standardized, innovative, adoptable, secure and cost-effective interface. Once formulated, the standardized API, designed for enabling different forms of payment beneficial for mobile application, and other channels, can be integrated into the NPCI infrastructure.

UPI will make payments possible only by providing an address with others without having ever provided account details or credentials on 3rd party applications or websites. It also has ability for sending collect requests to others (person to person or entity to person) with "pay by" date to allow payment requests to be “snoozed” and paid later before expiry date without having to block the money in the account until customer is ready to pay.

UPI has the ability to use personal mobile to "pay" someone (push) as well as "collect" from someone (pull). User can pre-authorize multiple recurring payments similar to ECS (utilities, school fees, subscriptions, etc.) with a one-time secure authentication and rule based access. All payment system players to use a standard set of APIs for any-to-any push and pull payments.

In addition, ability to pay and collect using "virtual payment addresses" that are "aliases" to accounts that may be payee/amount/time limited providing further security features. It has ability to have PSP provided mobile applications that allow paying from any account using any number of virtual addresses using credentials such as passwords, PINs, or biometrics (on phone).


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