The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Monday said all co-operative banks in the country would be part of digital transactions by March 2018. “The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) ecosystem now covers all public sector undertakings and major private banks. We are in the process of extending the service for co-operative bank. All co-operative banks, which computerised their operation, would be part of digital transactions,” said NPCI Managing Director and CEO A.P. Hota. UPI is currently offered by 56 banks in the country. He said technology companies such Google Inc, Facebook Inc. and WhatsApp Inc. are in talks with the NPCI to launch UPI-enabled payment on their platforms and this would significantly boost digital payments in the country.
Hota said Google has requested the Reserve Bank of India to consider the firm’s application to integrate its digital payment service, Android Pay, with UPI. With the Union government targeting Rs 25 billion digital transactions this financial year, Hota admitted that NPCI has missed the target set for the first quarter. “We have targeted 4 billion transactions in the first quarter but achieved 3.4 billion transactions. But we are trying to achieve the shortfall in the current quarter,” he said. Out of the 25 billion transaction target, NPCI is eying to achieve 10 billion transactions in the first half and the remaining 15 billion in the second half of the financial year.
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“We are focusing on bill payment system, transit system and e-tolling at toll gates on national highways to increase the digital payment transactions in the country,” Hota added. Meanwhile, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) App has crossed 16 million downloads and four million active customer base by end of June 2017. BHIM App is a common platform across the nation for making simple, easy and quick payments. “Transactions via BHIM App is witnessing growth with each passing month since its launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30, 2016. Download numbers breaching 16 million mark is a remarkable achievement towards digital transactions and creating a less-cash society,” he said. Currently, the 1.3 version of the app is available on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Soon a new update (Version 1.4) of the app will be launched.