Unified Payments Interface, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is going live for customers of 21 banks, namely – Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India and Vijaya Bank, among others.
Experts see it as a positive and unique move with some seeing it as a potential to turn your bank account into an e-wallet. Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.com, said, “UPI has the potential to turn your bank account into an e-wallet, thus doing away with the need to create additional e-wallets.”
With the launch of UPI app, which will be available on the Google Play Store in next 2-3 working days of the banks, there were questions raised on whether it will have an impact on the mobile wallets or e-wallets. Vivek Belgavi, Leader – FinTech, PwC India feels that e-wallets will not go anywhere, but will strengthen themselves by partnering with the banks to tap payment through UPI.
Moving towards cashless economy, UPI enables instant transfer of money from one’s bank account to any other bank account in the country using the UPI ID created after connecting with the bank app. It is based on the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) platform.
Most experts and online payment services themselves don’t see any impact on the online payment service. Shetty said, ” Many are of the opinion that UPI would eat into the e-wallet marketplace. However, it doesn’t seem to be that simple a case. Available e-wallets in India are in various stages of technological and utilitarian evolution. The least evolved ones may be at risk. But those companies which are able to evolve and be ready for a world with UPI can find ways to remain relevant. ”
MobiKwik Co-founder Upasana Taku doesn’t see any negative impact as UPI will enable another mechanism for users to load their wallet, along with net banking, credit and debit cards. “If implemented well, UPI is good for India. However, traditionally, banks have not had a reputation of developing the best online or mobile payment apps. Thus, the adoption and usability of UPI apps is uncertain,” she added.