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Unified Payments Interface
Operating area India
Founded 11 April 2016
Owner National Payments Corporation of India
Website Official site

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India facilitating inter-bank transactions. The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.[1]

UPI is built over Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) for transferring funds. Being a digital payment system it is available 24-7 and across public holidays. Unlike traditional mobile wallets, which takes a specified amount of money from user and stores it in its own accounts, UPI withdraws and deposits funds directly from the bank account whenever a transaction is requested. It uses Virtual Payment Address (a unique ID provided by the bank), Account Number with IFS Code, Mobile Number with MMID (Mobile Money Identifier), Aadhaar Number, or a one-time use Virtual ID. A UPI-PIN (UPI Personal Identification number that one creates on the UPI app of the bank) is required to confirm each payment.

USSD service[edit]

UPI is also available as a mobile phone USSD service where users can access the service by dialing the code *99#. The various services provided[2] in USSD mode are categorized as follows,[3]

  • Financial Services
    1. Fund Transfer
      • Send Money
      • Request Money
  • Non-financial services
    1. Balance Enquiry
    2. Change MPIN

Transaction charges[edit]

The transaction charges to be levied in UPI are left up to the banks as policy matter of individual banks thus a varied opinion exists among the bankers about imposing such charges. Many bankers feel that imposing transaction charges will hamper UPI adoption.

  • HDFC bank has held its decision about charging its customers for UPI transactions.[4]
  • SBI has proposed charging for UPI transaction in future.[5][6][7]
Bank Charges
ALL Banks 0

Transaction statistics[edit]

Year Transaction volume (millions) Transaction value (billions, INR)
2016–17 17.86 69.47
2017–18 737.18 856.59

The huge surge in UPI transactions in 2017–18 were largely due to launch of PhonePe, Paytm, Chillr and then Google Tez, UPI based payments applications. PhonePe came up with attractive cashback & referral offers & Google Tez with incentives for customers which led to greater adoption of UPI platform.

Supported banks[edit]

The website of National Payments Corporation of India lists the banks that facilitate UPI. Banks here are termed as Payment Service Providers (PSP) and issuers. PSP includes those banks which have their own mobile application to facilitate transaction and issuers include banks which don't have their payments interface and rely on third party software for transaction using UPI. The list of PSPs and Isssuers can be viewed here: UPI Live Members

See also[edit]



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