India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is going live for customers of 21 banks, paving the way for a P2P payments revolution in the country.
Run by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the UPI generates a virtual address as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money over the counter and online and works on single click 2 factor authentication.
It also provides an option for scheduling push and pull transactions for various purposes like sharing bills among peers. Customers will be able to have multiple virtual addresses for multiple accounts in various banks and identify themselves merely as their mobile number.
The platform has been running since a soft launch in April, mainly being used by bank employees to sniff out any technical glitches.
Now, banks with 1000 pilot customers, 5000 transactions and success rate of around 80% are being permitted to put UPI-enabled mobile apps on the Google Play Store. Among the firms set to roll out the service in the next couple of days are Axis Bank, Icici and Yes Bank.
The UPI is seen as a critical part of the Indian government's strategy to push the migration from cash to electronic payments as a way to improve financial inclusion.
This could get another boost from PayPal, which has launched its own P2P payments feature, called PayPal.me. To use the service, Indians create a PayPal.me personal URL link to their PayPal account which they can share with others to request payment.