Unified Payments Interface allows transactions via standalone apps with much more convenience than a wallet
WHILE India has witnessed a mobile wallet revolu-tion, with a sizeable chunk of the population having Paytm or MobiKwik as apps on their smartphone, the National Payments Corporation of India recently unveiled a new tool for users to increase the ease of transacting online. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) allows users to transact using standalone apps with much more convenience than a wallet. Though only a few banks have released their apps for now and more such as State Bank of India and HDFC Bank are expected to release them in the coming months, let’s take a look at the UPI apps available for now.
If you do not have a bank account with any of the banks available on the list or would like to use another bank’s app, fret not. The registration process of South Indian Bank’s (SIB) M-Pay is simple across all platforms with just basic information and an auto-SMS confirmation facility required. The SIB M-Pay is much the same, it allows you to create an alphanumeric ID to login to the app. The app has a very basic interface with tab options neatly stacked on the home page ranging from account management to registering a complaint. Although one has to make quite a few clicks, the app is best for those who want a step-by-step UPI guide.
This is the only app that is integrated with the bank’s app. If you have an ICICI account, you do not have to download anything other than the bank’s app. The app is easy to use
with a UPI button along with other features of account management and bill payment that are available on the platform. For customers of other banks, the registration process is easy and you get an array of options that you can use alongside the app. Though iMobile is a bit clunky for your mobile phone, we would recommend it only for ICICI customers; for others there are more interesting and easy options available.
If simplicity and a trendy interface is what Axis was targetting with its UPI app, it has done just that with the new app. The app is very pleasing to look at and the interface is simplistic enough to allow for transfer and collection of money. The login requires creation of an M-PIN, with the app offering two bubbles on the home screen, one for sending money and the other for receiving. Axis has done well to hide the other options in a drop-down menu. One can certainly use the Axis app, if sending and receiving are all that one wants in a click.
Flipkart’s and Yes Bank’s venture into the UPI world is not as user friendly as that of Axis but provides an array of features on the platform that others in the fray lag. The app can not only be used to send and receive money but can be used for recharging mobile, DTH, landline and data cards. You can also pay for utilities like electricity and gas bills using the app, but the best feature is split bill which allows users to split bills with friends and settle them right away. If you want the convenience of a mobile wallet along with the ease of UPI, PhonePe is the way to go.