National Payments Corporation of India today launched UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments via credit cards on the RuPay network.

The Reserve Bank of India had in June announced linking of UPI of credit cards, and had then said that the facility will initially be introduced on the RuPay and later extended to other card networks.

RuPay credit cards will be linked to a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) or a UPI ID to facilitate such payments in an offline mode. With this linkage, customers will increase use cases for credit cards and allow merchants to access more cards customers, NPCI said.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das launched the service on Tuesday at the Global Fintech Fest, along with ‘UPI Lite’ for small-value UPI transactions via a wallet-like feature, and the facility for inward cross-border remittances through the Bharat Bill Pay System.

He was accompanied by NPCI Chairman Biswamohan Mahapatra and Nandan Nilekani, Non-Executive Chairman at Infosys and Advisor to NPCI. 

Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Indian Bank will be the first to go live with UPI on RuPay credit cards via the BHIM app, while Federal Bank, along with UAE’s Lulu Exchange, will be the first to go live with BBPS cross-border bill payments.

In addition, eight banks are live with the UPI Lite feature, including Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, Indian Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank.

NPCI said that currently 50 per cent of transactions made through UPI are below ₹200, and that the network is thriving on low value transactions.

UPI 123Pay

The NPCI has also launched the ‘UPI 123Pay’ facility for feature phones, which is seeing traction in some early use cases, said Praveena Rai, chief operating officer of NPCI.

“Right now, there are about 200,000 active users who are doing this with the first programme that went live with fintech Ultracash Technologies and Bharat Gas,” Rai said, adding that 123Pay is already live in certain instances such as electricity bills, mobile recharge and gas connections.

RBI, had in March, announced UPI for feature phones, thereby extending UPI services to about 400 million users of such phones.

“It is as simple as transferring money from A to B. (Use cases involve) Fastag recharges for your cars, insurance payments, and equated monthly installments (EMI) collections,” Rai added.

Under the UPI 123Pay, feature phone users can register and make or complete or make a payment via UPI by calling a phone number, through the use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) numbers.

Users can also use UPI through applications on their feature phones, proximity sound-based payments which use sound waves to enable networking and via making missed calls where users receive a callback to authenticate and carry out transactions.

Most UPI transactions can be carried out through these four methods, except for ‘scan and pay’ through QR codes, which is still a work in progress, Rai said.