In a significant move aimed at enhancing India’s digital payment ecosystem, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das unveiled a slew of new UPI (Unified Payments Interface) features developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). These introduced features are set to revolutionize the way Indians transact and manage their finances.
1. Credit Line on UPI: Promoting Financial Inclusion and Innovation
- One of the standout features introduced by the central bank is the concept of ‘Credit Line on UPI.’ The fundamental idea behind this feature is to provide pre-sanctioned credit lines from banks via UPI, making credit more accessible to a wider population.
- This initiative incorporates various elements such as the linkage of pre-sanctioned credit lines, the creation of digital credit products by banks, interest-free credit periods with defined interest rates, and a clear schedule of charges.
- Additionally, it offers customer engagement channels for credit sanction requests and the ability to link different pre-sanctioned credit lines through UPI-enabled apps for seamless transactions.
2. UPI Lite X: Taking Offline Payments to the Next Level
- At the Global Fintech Fest 2023, NPCI launched ‘UPI Lite X,’ an evolution of the previously introduced UPI Lite feature. This innovation is designed to facilitate offline payments.
- Users can now send and receive money offline using any compatible device that supports Near Field Communication (NFC).
- This development is set to empower users in areas with limited or intermittent network connectivity to continue their financial transactions smoothly.
3. UPI Tap & Pay: Effortless Payments through QR Codes and NFC Technology
- In line with the goal of enhancing the adoption of QR codes and NFC technology, NPCI introduced ‘UPI Tap & Pay.’
- This feature enables customers to make payments at merchant locations by simply tapping NFC-enabled QR codes.
- This touchless payment method not only enhances convenience but also aligns with global trends in contactless payments, providing a safer and more hygienic payment option.
4. Conversational Payments: A New Era of Voice-Enabled Transactions
- Perhaps the most exciting announcement is the launch of conversational UPI and bill payments. The ‘Hello! UPI‘ feature facilitates voice-enabled payments via UPI applications, telephone calls, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
- Initially available in Hindi and English, this feature will soon be accessible in various regional languages.
- Users can issue voice commands to transfer funds and input their UPI PIN to complete transactions, simplifying the process and making it more accessible to diverse segments of the population.
5. BillPay Connect: Streamlining Bill Payments
- NPCI’s subsidiary, Bharat BillPay, introduced the ‘BillPay Connect‘ feature for conversational bill payments.
- This feature aims to create a standardized system for bill payments across India, allowing users to fetch and pay their bills by sending a simple ‘Hi’ on their messaging application.
- Importantly, this feature caters to individuals without smartphones or immediate mobile data access, as they can pay their bills by giving a missed call.
- This initiates a call back for verification and payment authorization. Furthermore, ‘BillPay Connect’ offers voice-assisted bill payments and the option to settle bills at physical collection centers through payment soundbox devices.
These new UPI features unveiled by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and developed by NPCI signify a significant step toward a more inclusive, convenient, and innovative digital payments landscape in India. As these features become increasingly accessible to a broader audience, they are expected to reshape the way Indians transact and manage their financial affairs, ultimately driving the nation’s digital payment revolution forward.