The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, has launched a hackathon in partnership with software industry body Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT). The UPI (Unified Payment Interface) Hackathon has been launched for developers to come up with innovative digital payment products.
“Today is an important day in mobile payments, with the NPCI’s launch of the UPI. We are going to see a whole new generation of innovative applications for both merchant payments and person-to-person payments, which will take us to a ‘less-cash society’,” said Nandan Nilekani, honorary adviser to the NPCI and former chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The hackathon was launched by Nilekani and Balachandran M, chairman, NPCI. The event was attended by AP Hota, managing director and chief executive officer, NPCI, key officials of the iSPIRT, as well as over 300 participants from banks, payment banks and payment solutions developer organisations.
In April, the NPCI will roll out UPI, its new payment system, for businesses to collect money from individuals instantly through mobile devices. The NPCI has partnered with 29 banks to facilitate payments through UPI.
The new payment interface also adheres to the two-factor authentication guideline provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Though all bank wallets are integrated with the UPI payment, private wallets such as Paytm, FreeCharge, Mobikwik, etc, have been excluded from the system.
“The NPCI would support banks and solution providers to develop solutions based on Application Programming Interface (APIs) made available by us. We not only have to work with the banks, but also with their partners to link their payment systems with UPI,” Hota said.
A customer using UPI will be able to make payments by providing just a single identification like his Aadhaar number or a virtual address.
The NPCI was set up in 2009 as the central infrastructure for various retail payment systems in India and was envisaged by the RBI as a payment utility for all banks in the country. During the last five years, the organisation has grown multifold—from two million transactions a day to 20 million transactions currently.