Confident that it has done a global first with the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is all set to file a patent application for its latest interoperable payment system, a senior official said today.
“We have decided to file for a patent on the UPI and have already taken the first steps towards that. We have not seen such a system anywhere else in the world,” the NPCI official, who does not want to be identified, said.
At present, the filing has been done with the patent authorities in the country which is valid for a few more countries, the official said, adding it may take up to two years to receive the final patent.
After launching the UPI first this April at the hands of the then Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, the central-bank curated Corporation went live with the UPI with 21 banks last month.
The UPI is a payment solution that empowers a recipient to initiate the payment request from a smartphone. It facilitates ‘virtual payment address’ as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money and works on single click two-factor authentication.
After the UPI went live, Corporation managing director and chief executive AP Hota had said real-time sending and receiving money through a mobile application, even without a bank account for both the sender and the recipient at such a scale on inter-operable basis had not been attempted anywhere else in the world.
At present it is available only on smartphones running on Google’s Android operating system, but the official today said it will go live on Apple’s iOS platform within 45 days.
State Bank of India and HDFC Bank, two big retail- focused lenders, will also enter the market with their own offerings, the official said, adding the platform is witnessing up to 5,000 transactions a day which will be scaled up over the next few months.
“Next two-three months will be invested in scaling up the presence and I am sure there will be better adoption as time progresses,” the official said.
Meanwhile, mid-sized private sector lender Yes Bank today launched its UPI offering and also announced a tie-up with 50 merchants to start with on the new platform.
Bank’s digital banking head Ritesh Pai said it aspires to be among top three banks in UPI transactions and capture 5 per cent of the entire payments industry by 2020.