Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has revolutionized the electronic payment system in India. It is used to make payments using the mobile application linked to your bank account. You can transfer money to the receiver’s bank account in less than a minute. The entire payment process through UPI is contactless, and it has proved its usefulness during the Covid period. UPI uses a highly secured platform. The users have to first register into UPI using the same mobile number already registered with the bank. Despite the secured platform, still, there are chances of fraud if you are not careful when using the UPI for transactions.
Here are key things you should keep in mind for a safe UPI payment and avoiding fraud.
Verify UPI ID Before Sending Money
You can transfer the payment through your UPI-enabled app to the receiver’s unique UPI ID. Similarly, you can receive the payment from others through your unique UPI ID. It’s important to share the right UPI ID when you want to receive the payment. You should verify the receiver’s UPI ID before initiating the transaction when you send the payment. To further reduce the chances of a mistake, you can transfer/receive a very small amount (Eg, Rs 1) for a confirmation.
Verify While Paying Through QR code
You can transfer payment to the receiver by scanning a UPI QR code. Once you scan the QR code, the receiver’s unique UPI code will show on the payment page. You must verify the QR code before transferring the amount. There are some cases where fraudsters have replaced the QR code of the merchant with their QR code. Afterwards, the people transferred the payment and got cheated. To avoid such a situation, you must use the QR code verified and shared by the merchant or the payment receiver.
Never Share Your UPI PIN
When you transfer the payment using the UPI-enabled app, it requires a unique PIN to authenticate the transaction. The unique PIN has to be set up at the time of linking your bank with your UPI ID. The UPI PIN is required to transfer the payment and not receive the payment. You must not share the UPI PIN with anyone.
Keep Your Phone Screen Locked By Password
If your phone remains locked by password, it reduces the chance of fraud when you use the UPI for a payment transaction, especially when your phone is lost and gets into the wrong hands. It would help if you avoided easily guessable passwords, which anyone can easily crack. Try to memorize your passwords. Always change your password at a regular interval.
Avoid Using Several UPI Apps
Having several UPI apps loaded on your mobile can be confusing, and you may easily commit a mistake. As UPI transactions are free, it doesn’t benefit you in anyway to use more than one UPI app. “UPI is interoperable, which means money can be transferred between two UPI users through any bank or UPI app. When paying someone using a different app from yours, you may face difficulties in paying to their phone number, but you can always pay to their QR code or their UPI ID which follows the name@bank format,” suggests Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com.
Never Click Unverified Links
Many cases were reported in which people were cheated when they clicked on a link they received through an SMS or email. You must avoid clicking on the unverified links received on your phone. Such links are often used to hack your phone to steal your identity and banking password/PIN. You may delete them immediately or block the source if you receive such links. In some cases, people receive a call from fraudsters claiming to be bank officials. They ask people to provide the OTP, PIN, or to download an app using the link they send on SMS/WhatsApp. Never follow such instructions from strangers or unknown sources.
Check SMS received On Amount Deduction
Despite all the efforts, you should remain vigilant about all the transactions happening in your bank account. Whenever you use the UPI to make a payment transaction, you must check the SMS received on your registered mobile number from the bank to verify the amount deducted from your account.
If you face any issue related to the UPI transaction, you may contact your bank’s customer care by calling them on the provided toll-free number. All the UPI-enabled apps come with the helpline features. You must make use of such features and report any unscrupulous financial activities in your account.