Charge only for UPI transactions between 2 wallets, clarifies NPCI

Representational photo.
Representational photo: Shutterstock

New Delhi: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Wednesday clarified that bank to bank account transfer via UPI will continue to remain free but any merchant payment that goes through two different wallets will be chargeable above Rs 2,000.

The interoperable charge of 1.1 per cent for each transaction above Rs 2,000 will be payable by merchant from April 1.

"Interchange charges are only applicable for the prepaid payment instruments (PPI) merchant transactions and there is no charge to customers," NPCI, payment gateway, clarified in a statement.

In simple words, the charge will kick in when a customer having a wallet of one particular company makes a payment to a merchant, who has a wallet of another company. This levy was being introduced to help cover for the cost of interchange or interoperable between two wallets.

PhonePe, GooglePay Paytm are dominant players in the mobile-wallet payment market.

NPCI has permitted the PPI wallets to be part of interoperable UPI ecosystem and levied 1.1 per cent charge on unified payment interface (UPI) transactions above Rs 2,000 while using PPI.

"The interchange charges introduced are only applicable for the PPI merchant transactions and there is no charge to customers, and it is further clarified that there are no charges for the bank account to bank account-based UPI payments (i.e. normal UPI payments)," it said.

With this addition to UPI, the customers will have the choice of using any bank account, RuPay Credit card and prepaid wallets on UPI-enabled apps, it said.

Share of individual to merchants transactions above Rs 2,000 is about 5 per cent of the total transactions in February.

In recent times, it said, UPI has emerged as the preferred mode of digital payment by offering free, fast, secure and seamless experience.

Traditionally, it said, the most preferred method of UPI transactions is linking the bank account in any UPI-enabled app for making payments, which contribute over 99.9 per cent of total UPI transactions.

Bank account-to-account transactions free: Paytm

These bank account-to-account transactions continue to remain free for customers and merchants.

No customer will pay any charges on making payments from UPI either from bank account or PPI/Paytm Wallet, Paytm said in tweet.

UPI is an instant real-time payment system which facilitates inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. The transaction is done through mobile in easy steps.

Besides, there are no charges applicable for the UPI transaction so far. Moreover, UPI has played a key role in the country becoming almost cashless economy.

The inexpensive medium for cashless transactions has been gaining traction month on month basis.

The UPI was launched in 2016, and since then it has emerged as the most popular and preferred payment mode pioneering person-to-person and person-to-merchant transactions accounting for 75 per cent of the total digital payments.

The volume of UPI transactions has increased manifold from 0.45 crore in January 2017 to 804 crore in January 2023. The value of UPI transactions has increased from just Rs 1,700 crore to Rs 12.98 lakh crore during the same period.

NPCI was incorporated in 2008 as an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India. It has created a robust payment and settlement infrastructure in the country

It facilitates payments through a bouquet of retail payment products such as RuPay card, Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), UPI, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), BHIM Aadhaar, National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC Fastag) and Bharat BillPay.  

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