Even while the Centre continues its push for for cashless transactions, at least five banks are still to join the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) network a fund remittance service backed by the government and Reserve Bank of India. The State Bank of India launched its app SBI Pay on November 24, almost three months after UPI went live in August-end and more than two weeks after the demonetisation was announced. ICICI, HDFC Bank and Axis launched their own apps before SBI.
Although online payment platforms like FreeCharge, Paytm, RuPay and MobiKwik have witnessed surge in downloads as well as transactions, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank and Punjab & Sind Bank have not joined UPI.A P Hota, Managing Director of National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), which launched UPI was quoted as saying by ‘The Indian Express’ that these banks should also come on board and thirty banks had already signed up with UPI including foreign banks like HSBC.
The report also quoted a source as saying that the demonetisation period is a good time to push for digital banking platforms like UPI and should ask five PSU banks to go for it. With an advanced version of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI looks to have overcome problems and has started targeting more customers. After demonetisation, daily transactions have jumped from 6,000-7,000 to 20,000.
Hota further said that IMPS is clocking 1.2 million transactions already. IMPS and UPI together will have over 2 million transactions by March-end.