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UPI 101

What is UPI?

  • A Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is a single window mobile payment system. UPI is a payment system that allows you to transfer money between any two parties. So it's like NEFT/RTGS/IMPS? Kinda, except it's far more well defined and standardized across banks, which means you can initiate a bank account transfer from anywhere with a few clicks.
  • The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) can be thought of like an email ID for your money. It will be an unique identifier that your bank uses to transfer money and make payments using the IMPS (Immediate Payments Service). IMPS is faster than NEFT and lets you transfer money immediately and unlike NEFT, it works 24×7.

When did it came into picture?

  • It was announced in Jan 2016 and made available to banks starting 11 April 2016

Why is UPI Launched? Or Why should a user use UPI

  • It's a part of the digitize India Campaign. Its an attempt to provide the users with a simple service using which money can be transferred immediately between any two parties like two people or a person and a merchant.

What is the upper limit of UPI?

  • UPI transfers have an upper limit of 2 Lakhs, same as IMPS.

Who owns UPI?

  • UPI is launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and set up with the support of the Reserve Bank of India and Indian Banks Association (IBA).

Who should use UPI

  • Anyone who needs to make any form of monetary transaction should use UPI. It enables easy tracking of money digitally.

Who should use UPI

  • Anyone who needs to make any form of monetary transaction should use UPI. It enables easy tracking of money digitally.

Why use UPI apps instead of debit/credit cards?

  • Scenario 1 - In case you need to pay a friend back for lunch, and need to send them some money. You can't do that with a card. UPI apps are going to be very useful in peer to peer scenarios.
  • Scenario 2 - Paying your rent to the landlord is another scenario where it's convenient and where cards won't work.
  • Scenario 3 - paying your utility bills, or online shopping? Cards work there, but you have to enter a lot of details to get it to work - you need to enter your card number (long string of numbers to remember) and then you have to enter a CVV, and your name, and the expiry date, and then you have to enter your OTP to complete a transaction.
  • That's a lot of details to keep typing in to get your lunch. With UPI apps, you'll have to enter your virtual payment address (VPA) which is short and simple, and then you'll have to enter an mobile pin (MPIN) or one-time-password (OTP). It's simpler, faster, and still as safe.

How is UPI better than the other existing transfer mechanisms?

  • The UPI transfers the fund immediately. No restriction of holiday or working hours. The bank strike will also not affect the UPI payments.
  • You do not require the bank account number and IFSC code of the recipient.
  • Immediate Registration of Payee- You are not required to wait up to 24 hours to send money to a new payee. Anyone would get money immediately.
  • You can send bills and get money once the client approves it.
  • You can use the Cash on Delivery without paying cash to the delivery boy. Just approve the bill and the delivery boy would get confirmation.

How secure is UPI?

  • Nandan Nilekani said the security is foolproof as the transaction will happen in a highly encrypted format. Already the NPCI IMPS network handles more than Rs.8,000 crore worth of transactions a day, which will exponentially increase with the use of mobile phones.
  • Factor authentication – similar to OTP will be there as it's mandated by RBI. In this case, MPIN instead of OTP will be used.

How can I transfer using UPI?


  • Download the UPI application from the App Store Links mentioned below
  • Enter details like name, virtual id (payment address), password etc.
  • Go to “Add/Link/Manage Bank Account” option and links the bank and account number with the virtual payments address. Every bank has a set of different but well defined protocol for this.

Generate M-PIN:

  • Select the bank account from which you want to initiate the transaction
  • User clicks one of the options:.
    • a. Mobile Banking Registration/Generate MPIN
    • b. Change M-PIN

For registering or generating M-PIN:

  • Select the bank account from which you want to initiate the transaction
  • You will receive One Time Password (OTP) from the issuer bank on his/her registered mobile number
  • You have to enter last 6 digits of debit card number and expiry date
  • Enter OTP and preferred numeric MPIN (MPIN to be set) and clicks on ‘submit’
  • After clicking submit, customer gets notification (successful or decline) for changing M-PIN
  • Enters old MPIN and preferred new MPIN (MPIN to be set) and click on ‘Submit’
  • After clicking submit, customer gets notification (successful or failure)

For sending money using virtual address

  • Log on to UPI application
  • After successful login, select the option of Send Money/Payment
  • Enter beneficiary’s/Payee virtual id and amount and select account to be debited
  • You will get confirmation screen to review the payment details and clicks on ‘Confirm’
  • Enter MPIN
  • Get ‘successful’ or ‘failure’ message

For Requesting money

  • Log in to the bank’s UPI application.
  • After successful login, select the option of collect money (request for payment)
  • Enter remitter's/payer’s virtual id, amount and account to be credited
  • You will get confirmation screen to review the payment details and clicks on confirm
  • The payer will get the notification on his mobile for request money
  • Payer now clicks on the notification and opens his banks UPI app where he reviews payment request
  • Payer then decides to click on accept or decline
  • In case of accept payment, payer will enter MPIN to authorise the transaction
  • Transaction complete, payer gets ‘successful’ or ‘decline’ transaction notification
  • Payee/requester gets notification and SMS from bank for credit of his bank account

How many banks have onboarded right now?

  • According to NPCI, so far only 29 banks have agreed to start this service

What happens if I enter wrong UPI-PIN during a transaction?

  • No problem, the app will prompt you to re-enter the correct UPI-PIN. The maximum number of tries allowed, depends on your bank. Please check with your bank for details.

What happens if I forget my pin?

  • In case someone forgets the MPIN, he needs to re-generate new PIN using his debit card details (last six digit of debit card & Expiry date).

Why is my UPI transaction failing?

  • UPI transaction can fail due to multiple reasons most likely due to connectivity issues to the banking system, incorrect Payment Address entered or wrong UPI PIN entry. If your transaction fails, please try again. If it doesn't work, please contact customer support.

I have paid for my transaction but not received anything. Why is that?

  • Once you complete a transaction, you should see a success status on your PSP app like BHIM, PhonePe etc. and receive an SMS from your bank. In some cases due to operator issues it can take longer time. In case you have not received your confirmation within an hour please contact our customer support.

What if my account is debited but the transaction does not go through?

  • UPI provides for real time reversals for declines and amount would be transferred back to your account immediately.

How long does it take for the money to get credited into the beneficiary account?

  • For successful UPI transactions, funds get credited into the beneficiary's account instantaneously.

Can I put a stop payment request for funds transferred by UPI?

  • No, once the payment is initiated, it cannot be stopped.

Where do I register a complaint with reference to the UPI transaction?

  • You can also raise your grievance to our customer support or check status of UPI transaction through the UPI App of the participating banks.

What is the timeline to approve a collect request by a payer?

  • Most merchants put a timeline of appx 3 minutes. But this request can be infinite too.

Will you ever auto-deduct payments from my account?

  • We will not auto deduct payments from your account.

My UPI transaction has failed but my bank account has been debited.

  • In case of failures money will be refunded back to your account. Sometimes this takes longer than intended. If you do not receive the refund within 48 hours, please contact customer support.

Can I link my NRE/NRO Accounts under UPI?

  • Currently, you will not be able to link NRE/NRO accounts under UPI.

Sources for downloading UPI Apps

  • SBI Pay: Android
  • HDFC Bank MobileBanking: Android, iOS
  • ICICI Pockets: Android, iOS
  • Axis Pay UPI App: Android
  • Union Bank UPI App: Android
  • PNB UPI: Android
  • PhonePe: Android
  • Canara Bank UPI – eMpower: Android
  • United UPI: Android
  • Andhra Bank ONE – UPI App: Android
  • UCO UPI: Android
  • Bank of Maharashtra – Maha UPI: Android
  • Vijaya UPI: Android
  • South Indian Bank – SIB M-Pay (UPI Pay): Android
  • KBL SMARTz (UPI): Android
  • OBC UPI PSP: Android
  • UPI Bank Transfer with Friends: Android
  • DCB Bank UPI App: Android
  • Lotza – UPI: Android
  • TranZapp – UPI: Android
  • CSB UPI: Android
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