The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Thursday launched Unified Payments Interface (UPI) 2.0, which among others allows customers to link their overdraft account to UPI, creation of one-time mandates and pre-authorisation of transactions for payment at a later date, and checking the invoice sent by merchant prior to making payment.

UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.

NPCI is an umbrella organization for all retail payments in India. UPI version 1 was launched in April 2016.

“Large number of banks, merchants, third-party players and consumers trusted this platform which resulted in substantial growth in terms of volume and value of transactions since its inception. With the launch of UPI 2.0 we hope to touch new milestones by expanding UPI’s presence especially in person-to-merchant payment space,” Dilip Asbe, MD & CEO, NPCI.

UPI transactions have increased manifold since its inception in 2016. In FY2016-17, the number of UPI transactions were at ₹1.786 crore aggregating ₹6,947 crore. UPI has recorded transactions worth ₹45,845 crore and ₹235 million in terms of value and volume in the month of July 2018.

Nandan Nilekani, Advisor–Innovation, NPCI said, “UPI’s high volume, low cost and highly scalable architecture built on an open source platform is key to India’s transformation to a digital payment economy.”

UPI 2.0 member banks as on date are: State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, RBL Bank, YES Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, Federal Bank and HSBC.

New features

In addition to current and savings accounts, NPCI said customers can link their overdraft (OD) account to UPI in its latest version. Customers will be able to transact instantly and all benefits associated with OD account will be made available to the users.

“UPI mandate could be used in a scenario where money is to be transferred later by providing commitment at present. UPI 2.0 mandates are created with one time block functionality for transactions. Customers can pre-authorise a transaction and pay at a later date,” NPCI said in a statement.

Mandates can be created and executed instantly. On the date of actual purchase, the amount will be deducted and received by the merchant/individual user.

UPI 2.0 has a feature whereby customers can check the invoice sent by merchant prior to making payment. This is aimed at helping customers to view and verify the credentials and check whether it has come from the right merchant or not.

A quick response (QR) code feature has been introduced for customers to check the authenticity of merchants while scanning the code. It notifies the user with information to ascertain whether the merchant is verified UPI merchant or not. This provides an additional security to the QR as well as intent.

“Transactions are processed faster as app passcode is not required in case of signed intent. It also negates the chances of QR tampering. Customers will be informed in case the receiver is not secured by way of notifications,” said NPCI.