What Nandan Nilekani described as WhatsApp moment for Indian banking is finally here.
While National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had announced the launch of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform early this year, it was only last week that a few banks launched their apps.
Banks had made a transition to mobile apps a few years back, but the functionality was quite limited and they were losing out to e-wallets which were convenient and easy to use.
All one had to do was register with a wallet, recharge it and they could transfer the money using the app, while transfering money from a bank account via an app would require one to type in the account or
MMID number then enter the IFSC code or bank branch to initiate a transfer.
UPI, which is app agnostic, allows users to use any banks app while allowing interbank instant transfers.
FE takes stock of the South Indian Bank’s UPI app (SIB M-Pay) to explain how UPI works.
So, here’s how you can register and start using UPI.
Registration, creating virtual ID
The first step would entail registration, in case you are using another bank’s service like we did. The registration is simple and all you have to do is enter your name, email and registered phone number.
The app will send an OTP to your mobile phone and you will have to create a password which it will ask for each time you login.
Once the registration is done you would need to create your virtual ID in order to start receiving and collecting money.
The process again is simple. All one has to do is access account management and click on add account, which will then open a screen with a drop down menu of bank names.
Once you select the bank name, the app using your mobile will detect your account and ask you to create an id which would be much like an email id, xxx@sib in this instance.
Once the process is complete you can click on “Send Money” tab on the homepage of the app. One can do that by typing in the virtual id of the person you want to transfer the money to, say yyy@sib and entering in the amount.
Once you submit the amount, the app takes you to the NPCI page where all you would be required to do is enter the m-pin and the amount will be transfered.
The UPI app also comes embedded with a feature that most of the wallets lack. One can not only transfer amount but also send a request to collect money.
The app would require you to click the Collect Money tab on the homepage. In this process all you have to do is to enter the virtual id of person you want to collect money from, say yyy@sib and the amount.
The app also allows for setting up a request validity. For instance, if one would like to specify the days and time till the collect request lapses.
The other person would receive a message saying a collect request has been initiated by Y (yyy@sib) which if she accepts, it would take her to the NPCI page for verification via m-pin.
The transfer in each of the cases was instant. The app also allows you to see your account history and check the balance in your account.
You can register as many accounts as you have and the app allows you to toggle between them without a problem.
It also has a dispute and complaints section where one just has to click on the transfer and click on raise a complaint.
The app would soon incorporate Aadhaar-based transfers as well.
Though UPI in itself has the potential to disrupt the market, with talks of Aadhaar-enabled smartphones being introduced, the process would become much more simplified eliminating the need for entering m-pin.