The UPI (Unified Payments Interface) is the buzzword in mobile payments ecosystem. Instead of adding money to a mobile wallet through a credit or debit card, it allows people to send and receive money directly into their bank accounts. Developed by NCPI (National Payments Corporation of India), the service is available to mobile users through a number of banking apps. One can also use it through standalone payment apps, such as BHIM and the recently launched Google Tez. Then there are apps which we use every day and the addition of UPI payments makes them all the more user-friendly.
Hike Messenger, Flipkart, Uber and Truecaller are some of these apps which allow UPI payments. It is expected that WhatsApp, Amazon and Netflix will also be bringing in the UPI payment feature in their apps soon.
Leading online store Flipkart is another online store which offers the power of UPI payments into its mobile app. It’s tied to Flipkart’s PhonePe wallet, but doesn’t require users to have the app in their phone. To access it, select an item->Buy now->Continue and select PhonePe UPI. It will send you an OTP to create a PhonePe account, which will take a few seconds. On the final payment page, go to UPI and type your VPA (Virtual Payment address). You can use this for all online purchases on Flipkart. The e-commerce company is relying on Yes Bank for UPI payments.
Hike Messenger is the only chat messenger app which allows users to make UPI payments to friends and contacts in the app. Hike users can use the feature to make free and instant transfer directly into the bank account of their friends. One can also use it to pay for recharges. One can access it in Settings->Wallet->Send Money->VPA. The API and other backend support for UPI payment in Hike is being provided by Yes Bank.
Truecaller is no longer restricted to flagging spam messages and calls. It is quite useful in many other ways. One of them is the option to send and receive money directly into one’s bank account using UPI payments. The Sweden-based company is trying to foray into the social media space and is counting on peer-to-peer payments for it. The company has partnered with ICICI Bank for this.
You can access UPI on Truecaller in app menu->Payments->and verify mobile number. What is interesting is that it allows first-time users to create their virtual payment address, check their account balance and transaction details from the app itself.
Popular ride sharing service Uber allows users to pay for their rides using UPI. They don’t have to link their credit card or use a wallet to make the payments anymore. Users can activate this in Payment->Add method of payment->UPI. However, this only works for users who already have a UPI account. The option to create a UPI account is not available on Uber. The US-based company has tied up with HDFC Bank and Axis Bank to offer UPI services.
Known for its mobile wallet and online store, Paytm offers various payment options to users. While credit cards, debit cards, ebanking have been available for a while, UPI was recently added. The feature is available in the Add money tab in the blue strip. Tap on it, select the amount and scroll down to other payment methods. Add money->other payment methods->UPI. The only caveat is that you can’t create a UPI account on it which means you should have a UPI account and virtual address to take advantage of the feature in Paytm.