Launched in 2016, the United Payments Interface (UPI) is a great way for average consumers to facilitate daily payments. 

Data has shown that Indian consumers now prefer to pay using UPI over other payment methods. Even during and post the COVID-19 lockdown, UPI beat cards and netbanking by wide margins.

This is largely because UPI is seamless and easy-to-use. The UPI intent flow has high usage on Android devices, and with Razorpay bringing the UPI intent flow to iOS as well, the usage of UPI is only going to increase.

While such features can be immensely beneficial for small businesses, the average consumers also stand to gain from using UPI payment apps. This is mainly because of the vast range of features and use-cases they have.

And of course, the next big thing in the digital payments space is UPI AutoPay, which will allow consumers to subscribe to products and services using UPI AutoPay.

Features of UPI payments

UPI payment apps offer a simple solution to a very basic problem.

Some of the features of this mode of payment include:

  • Reliability: First and foremost, as UPI is launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), one of the biggest features associated with it is its reliability. The problem with using third-party payment apps to facilitate payments online is often the fact that even the slightest fluctuation in internet can lead to the loss of money. Though these apps offer excellent customer service and help customers get their money back, often the issues lie with the website or portal they are used on. With UPI, customers have far greater control over transferring their funds and do not have to worry about them getting lost along the way
  • Real-time transfers: Another vital feature associated with UPI is the fact that all transfers occur in real-time. Customers press the send button and their beneficiary receives the payments in a matter of seconds. As a result, basic daily-life activities such as buying groceries, taking an auto or cab home from work, or paying a friend back after borrowing money are simple and convenient. The simple 2-step process used in these payments makes it easy for customers to enter the digital economy without having to think twice
  • Inclusivity: UPI does not always rely on the internet. While this functionality depends on the payment app used, UPI offers the option to conduct transactions without a smartphone or working internet. In order to do so, consumers must simply send specific text messages to initiate the transactions. As a result, individuals belonging to all sections of society can enter the digital world. As many payment apps also offer instructions in regional languages, they make it even simpler for many people to be a part of this revolution
  • No minimum transaction limit: UPI does not have a minimum transaction limit. Payments as low as Re 1 can be made while using this payment mode. As a result, this makes the idea of using digital transactions far more palatable to people who conduct daily transactions with vendors or merchants. Unlike NEFT and RTGS payments, UPI does not have a transaction charge either, as of now. This adds to the overall convenience of using these forms of payments

What is UPI ID and how to use it?

Your UPI ID functions almost in the same way your name does. It offers a Virtual Payments Address for senders to enter when transferring money to your account. In order to create your own VPA or UPI ID, you must begin by downloading any app of your choice and registering yourself on it.

The registration page will have a section that asks you to create your UPI ID. The app that you use to register for UPI will typically create the UPI ID for you. The UPI ID could be your name, phone number or other such details.

How to use your UPI ID?

The UPI ID or VPA is what you share with your customers or family when they need to make payments to you. It is the detail that you can use instead of sharing your bank account number.

Picture this: When you wish to send a text message, you must first enter a name or number in the recipient’s section. The UPI ID functions the same way.

If you wish to send funds to someone, you just need their UPI ID and not even their bank account number. Just enter their UPI ID into your app and initiate the payment.

If you are a small business owner and wish to accept payments using UPI, check out the link below.


Saurin heads Content at Razorpay. He's a fintech enthusiast who enjoys long walks in the Bangalore weather. He says he's a "cool dad" (those are his words, his son has refused to comment). He writes primarily on personal and business finance, and a little bit on marketing.