Amid the rise in mobile banking transactions and lenders focusing on building mobile applications for these, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has developed a unified payment interface to connect payments across smartphones. With this, consumers will be able to send and receive money through smartphones without revealing their bank account details. Transactions can be undertaken with the help of details such as Aadhaar number, mobile number or a virtual payment address.
“There are 20 million smartphones being added every quarter and by the end of this decade, we would have had crossed 500 million smartphones.
E-commerce has also been growing fast. According to a BCG (Boston Consulting Group) report, the size of e-commerce market is $16-17 billion; this is expected to increase to $60-70 billion in the next three-four years,” said Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India.
Nilekani is set to be an advisor (innovation and public policy) at NPCI.
“RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said the central bank is committed to a largely cashless payment system. This unified payment platform will help in achieving that, by making transactions simpler and convenient,” said A P Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI.
A pilot project for the unified payment interface will be rolled out in four-five months, and the transaction charges and details of the business model are yet to be worked out. Once operational, the gateway can be used to pay and collect money in bank accounts or digital wallets. A consumer can also pre-authorise multiple recurring payments for utilities, school fees, etc.
“In value terms, the average value of the transactions we see for card usage is likely to be Rs 1,500, whereas for remittance purposes, it might be about Rs 2,500,” Hota said.