All you need know about Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI)


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched Unified Payment Interface (UPI). It will make money transfer as simple as sending a text message.

This UPI method could change the micro-payment landscape in the country. According to a report, 95 percent of consumer transactions in volume terms and 65 percent in value terms are in cash.

Considering the number of smartphones in the country is estimated to go up from 150-200 million to 500 million, mobile money transfer is expected to get a boost. Moreover, payments can be made by only knowing the mobile or Aadhaar number.

What is this Unified Payment Interface (UPI)?

Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is a payment system that allows you to transfer money between any two accounts using your smartphone. You can use UPI to pay directly to merchants from your bank accounts.

A presentation shows how Unified Payment Interface will work
A presentation shows how UPI will work. IMAGE/ NPCI

Key Features of Unified Payment Interface

  • Easy instant payments via mobile, web, and other applications.
  • Sender (Payer) and receiver (payee) both can initiate payments in a secure and convenient way.
  • Virtual payment addresses, 1-click 2-factor authentication, Aadhaar integration, use of payer’s smartphone for secure credential capture, etc. are some of the core features.

Motivation behind Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

According to Reserve Bank of India,

  • Non-cash transaction per person is 6, per year, which extremely low.
  • A fraction of the 10 million plus retailers in India has card payment acceptance Infrastructure. Presently this number stands at just 0.6 million.
  • Of the six lakh villages in India, the total number of villages with banking services stands at less than one lakh villages as at end March 2011 and nearly 145 million households are excluded from banking. Over the last few years, significant improvements have come in terms of coverage and with Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) and Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), a number of households having a bank account have also gone up.

To fix these issue, Govt set up National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in April 2009, with the core objective to facilitate an affordable payment mechanism to have financial inclusion across the country.

Is Unified Payment Interface better than my Cards?

Sometimes it is hard to type entire details of your card on phone and proceed with the transaction. Also, sending your card data online can be a security threat. With UPI, you can skip all this and continue with hassle free transaction.

Won’t the Seller get my Bank Account Details?

When you finish the transaction, you don’t have to get worried about your account details. UPI makes the use of Virtual Payment Address”. Here is an example of your Virtual address

IFSC code and account number combination, resolved directly by NPCI, is represented as [email protected] (e.g. [email protected]).


A freelance Technical Writer, worked as a Software and Web Developer, a Product Support Specialist in World Wide Web, experienced in Digital Marketing and a Technical Journalist in computer publishing industry.