A digital and cashless India through NPCI.

Since the time Narendra Modi took over to be the Prime Minister of India and a new party became our government we have seen changes in our lifestyle that we didn’t expect to happen in such a short span of time.

The new government has been emphasising a lot on Digital India and has put all its task force to work in order to achieve this target.

Considering all our lives today is digital, it was high time this had to come by and indeed it did.

Our lives also needed a change in terms of cash. Honestly, I am not a big fan of cash as I personally believe that it’s a curse than a blessing.

I remember the night of 8th November 2016 clearly when the Prime Minster announced the demonetisation of INR 500 and INR 1,000.

Since it happened all of a sudden, no one in India was prepared for it. Whether it was the citizens of the country or the financial sector everyone was zapped.

I agree that the whole situation was chaotic but it was the stepping stone to a digital and cashless India.

To aid us and making India digital and cashless, NPCI became an integral part of a transforming India.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) know as भारतीय राष्ट्रीय भुगतान निगम in Hindi is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India, which aims to allow all Indian citizens to have unrestricted access to e-payment services.

It is a not-for-profit organisation owned by a consortium of major banks and is promoted by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.

NPCI has launched a variety of products and services that not only give you an international feeling but are Indian at heart and truly promote the “Make in India” initiative.

I am sure many of you like me would have faced problems wherein we had to transfer money immediately to someone. Unfortunately, we couldn’t because we had either passed the banking or the NEFT hours.

Under NEFT one has to add the person as beneficiary and await the approval for the same. It also has the problem of limited fund transfer to the beneficiary in the first few hours which varied from banks to banks.

IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), was the need of the hour and NPCI launched this on 22nd November 2010. This service took care of all the cons of NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer). Now no matter what time in the day, one could transfer money to anyone just by either having their mobile no or their bank account no and IFSC code and within minutes the transaction is processed.

RuPay a card payment scheme was launched in March 2012 and went live in June 2013 as an alternative to Mastecard and Visa.  “RuPay” is the coinage of two terms Rupee and Payment.

RuPay cards are available in debit, credit and prepaid. Since RuPay went live the cost of transactions has come down to  almost 1/5th as compared to Visa and Mastercard.

To have smooth operations of RuPay cards internationally, they have tied up with Discover, Dinners club, JCB in Japan and UnionPay in China.

RuPay also offers a variety of offers to their cardholders in the form of discounts, cashback and insurance covers.

*99# service was dedicated to the nation by the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi on 28th August 2014 as part of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

It’s one of the innovative payment service launched by NPCI that works on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel. This service helps the need for immediate low value remittances through mobile banking which further helps in financial deepening and inclusion of under banked society.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was launched on 11th April 2016 by Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, ex- Governor, RBI at Mumbai. It is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood.

UPI thus enabled round the clock availability through mobile device for accessing different bank accounts. It also offers the use of virtual ids, single click 2 factor authentication, utility bill payments, merchant payments through the app, in-app payments and the best part being raising complaints from the app itself.  UPI thus make banking services as easy as sending a text message.

BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) a Mobile App was launched on 30th December 2016 that is based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). BHIM users can send, receive or transfer money using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA), Account Number & IFSC, Aadhaar Number or QR code, Mobile No. (Mobile No should be registered with BHIM or *99#.

You can download the BHIM app from the Android Play store or the IOS App store. BHIM is proving to be the big change we needed for a cashless India.

Few years back I always used to be worried about having the exact change cash with me to make payments here and there and also the constant reminder to myself that I needed to withdraw money from the ATM in order to take care of my expenses.

However, now I need not worry as NPCI has not only reduced my worry of having cash all the time but has helped me and the nation in being a digital and cashless India.

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