What do your payments in a typical day look like?Buying groceries at the nearby grocery store, stopping at the petrol pump or gas station to fill the car, shelling out money at a restaurant or a coffee shop. What more? Paying the utility bills that might include television or mobile bill, LPG or electricity bill. Move to metros and it might also include monthly municipal corporation bill or paying for the metro/ bus pass.
The money moves us and we move the money! Perfect jodi, to say! But how do we both move each other, that is even more interesting. India as an economy has been the cash king. We take pride in keeping hard cash in pocket. There is some intangible glory attached to it and we cannot have enough of it. But when you look at it operationally – there is a lot of cost involved in managing and handling the cash.
From going to a bank to withdraw the money to going to a bank to deposit the money; from doling out ten ten-rupee notes at the grocery or waiting for three rupee notes of change; from entering the card details and cvv in making an online payment or trying to hide the credit/debit card to prevent theft of card details- there are numerous friction points in making payments either via cash or online. These were all small size ticket transactions. What if you have to transfer money to your parent or to your children(in thousands) or if you are making other payments running into lakhs. You will have to wait to add the person to be added as a beneficiary with the specific bank from where you have to transfer the money and then do a NEFT/RTGS payment. And in case the next time you have to make the payment from a different bank account- you will have to repeat the process. This challenge would be an operational bottleneck for businesses transferring money at regular intervals and frequently.
So what is UPI and how to use UPI?UPI is a single window to accept and transfer money from/to a single or multiple bank account without having to wait for them to be added as beneficiary. All you have to do is download a UPI enabled app which could be a BHIM UPI app by NPCI ( national payment corporation of India) , or any UPI enabled Bank app. There are currently29 UPI enabled bank apps on the playstore.