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UPI upgraded to version 2.0, new features introduced

The updated version of the unified payment interface (UPI) adds overdraft account linking facility, payment scheduling, invoice to inbox, signed intent and QR verification.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organisation for all retail payments in the country that is in charge of the UPI platform, launched UPI 2.0. This launch, done at Mumbai, reveals a string of new features that users will be entitled to avail. The much anticipated upgrade comes amidst several setbacks and delays.

UPI 2.0 Features

Here are what UPI users can find in the latest upgrade:

Block payment with one-time mandate. Customers can use the new UPI platform to schedule payments by creating a one-time block of fund. The user will have to pre-authorise a transaction commitment beforehand. The amount will be put under a one-time block, which will be transferred to the recipient on the actual date intended.

This feature can be used by consumers as well as merchants. It provides ample opportunities for digitising cash-on-delivery services, digital gifting and many other applications. Reports suggest big e-commerce players (like BookMyShow, Flipkart among others) are already in process of integrating this UPI feature to their services.

Overdraft account support. Up until the upgrade, UPI supported linking of savings and current bank accounts only. In 2.0, users with overdraft accounts can also avail the same facilities like account linking with UPI, instant transactions and fund transfers, checking bank account information and so on.

Invoice inboxing. Customers will now receive invoice of their orders along with the payment request directly in their inbox during a purchase. They can make their payments after properly verifying the merchant details and payment details over UPI. This feature will reduce chances of bad transactions from consumers due to wrongly entered payment details or unverified merchants.

Signed intent and QR verification. UPI 2.0 strengthens its QR-based transaction security. Consumers, when scanning QR codes for payments, will be notified whether the intended recipient/merchant is an authorised UPI user. Signed intent enables faster and secure UPI usage for consumers and also reduces chances of QR tampering.

While anticipated features like recurring payment or ‘standing instruction’ yet remain to be introduced, these upgrades will surely secure e-payments and further enhance customer experience. Platforms like Paytm and PhonePe, among others, are popularising UPI usage in India.

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