India has now crossed more than 1200 million active mobile users and mobile Payment apps getting huge impetus after Indian Govt initiated several measures to boost digital payment solutions.
With the implementation of the Unified Payment Interface or UPI platform, several Indian Banks and third-party companies introduced numerous mobile payment apps in India. You can easily find the list of such UPI payment apps in the Google Play Store or iOS app store. These UPI payment apps integrate the UPI platform to send and receive money between the UPI-linked bank accounts.
In this article, you will find a list of some unique and innovative UPI payment apps that you can install from the Android or iOS App Store.
After the launch of NPCI ‘s UPI Payment platform, almost all Indian Banks introduced their own UPI payments App integrating the BHIM-UPI platform. Not only the Indian Banks, but several other third-party companies have also created their own UPI payments app using UPI’s API which is mainly handled by private banks excluding SBI which is one of the PSB banks in Google Pay. Now the popularity of UPI is not only restricted in India but several other countries like the UK, Bhutan, UAE, and many others joined under the UPI platform and accepted the UPI by real-time currency conversion.
Now you can send and receive remittances from Singapore using UPI PayNow Linkage, Several banks like SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and Indian Bank started offering this service, and many other banks may follow soon.
NPCI’s latest and upcoming offering based on the UPI platform is UPI Tap & Pay, which uses contactless NFC technology to securely transfer money between two NFC-enabled devices.
Before getting into the actual topic, let’s have some quick ideas about UPI and How it Works?
What is UPI?
UPI or Unified Payment Interface is a payment solution developed by the National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI) under the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI). UPI payment allows the users to send and receive money between the Bank Accounts linked with the mobile number. The BHIM-UPI app enables the users to link the app with the accounts where they have already linked the same mobile number. The sending and receiving of money are done on a real-time basis and it does not require the IFSC code. Instead of the IFSC Code, both the sender and receiver need a VPA or Virtual Payment Address. The VPA is something like yourname@sbi or yourname@icici etc.
You can create several VPA using the BHIM-UPI official Android app or using any of the third-party UPI apps and link more than one Bank Account, only you have to link the same mobile number or SIM that you are using in your smartphone with your Bank Account. Because before creating VPA, the UPI payments app will verify your SIM by sending an SMS, to authenticate the linked Bank Account.
By integrating the UPI-API, several third-party digital payment apps have already launched in India. Even social media sites like Twitter or Facebook and several popular messaging applications like Hike Messenger, and Whatsapp also integrate the UPI platform for sending and receiving quick money on a real-time basis.
Now, you can also pay your credit card bill using UPI, I have written a detailed article on how to pay credit card bills online using UPI and IMPS. You can read the article here.
Facts & Features of UPI
- The maximum upper limit of UPI decided by the NPCI is Rs.1.00 Lacs.
- The maximum transfer limit depends on the app, the maximum daily UPI transfer limit is 10 Lacs.
- The UPI transaction is chargeable when the transaction is made through the wallet or QR codes, the merchant will bear the processing fees.
- You can add a RuPay Credit card on UPI Apps.
- You can initiate a maximum of 20 transactions in 24 hours.
- All the UPI transactions will be completed on a real-time basis.
- Autopay recurring payments for bills amount to less than Rs.15000.
- UPI and IMPS work on the same platforms, but UPI is more user-friendly and easy to understand.
- Anyone can add any number of Bank accounts using any Bank’s UPI payments app
- Anyone can have multiple UPI VPA from multiple banks.
- As per RBI guidelines, only commercial banks can act as payment system providers (PSPs) in UPI transactions.
- For merchants, the Government is abolishing all the transaction charges for the payments made using UPI & QR codes at the business which have more than 50 crores annual turnover.
List of Top 5 Best UPI Payments app in India
Around 473 PSU banks, private Banks, small finance banks and other third-party apps now participate in UPI payment platforms. All scheduled commercial banks including district cooperative banks have their own UPI App. As per NPCI data, 23 third-party apps also have their own VPA handler partnering with Indian banks. All banks have integrated UPI Payments with their existing mobile banking app or have created a new BHIM UPI app.
According to data from NPCI, the top three UPI Apps, PhonePe, GPay, and Paytm dominate the UPI payment market and processed 96% of transaction volume in India in 2023.
Here’s the Market Share of top UPI Payment Apps in India as of July 2023, in terms of transaction volume. (Source: NPCI)
Here’s the list of the top 5 best UPI App in India with features
1. Google Pay
Google Pay or GPay (formerly known as Tez) is number one on this list. Google Pay is the most innovative and unique UPI payment app in India launched by Google. Google Pay also leads in India’s UPI transactions both in terms of Transaction Value. Google Pay has more than 6.7 crore active monthly users in India.
The GPay offers features like mobile recharge, bill payments, money transfers to mobile numbers, bank accounts, credit card payments, etc., similar to all other payment apps offered in India, but the most important thing is that it runs on the Google platform and the Google Pay is globally one of the leading payment apps. As UPI payment is started to be accepted in many countries worldwide, one may use GPay anywhere in the world in the future.
Google Pay has tied up with 4 PSP banks in India namely SBI, ICICI, Axis Bank & HDFC Bank to provide VPA service in India. This payment app does not have any wallet option, therefore, no KYC documents are needed to operate this app, Only you need a bank account and your mobile number should link to this account. You can create a VPA ID by installing the Google Pay App and transaction MPIN by authenticating the debit card linked to your Account. The VPA ID will be your Gmail ID @okhdfc, sbi, axis, or ICICI.
Now you can add BHIM UPI ID in Google Play as a payment method in India for purchasing games, apps, and in-app content. Your VPA ID will be stored in the Google Account and it can be used where Google Pay is accepted.
You can also set up Google Pay for your online business. For technical guidance on Google Pay business set up visit here.
Google Pay has now more than 2,000 online merchant partners in India. As per NPCI data, Google Pay is the second most popular UPI payments app in India with almost 33.3 percent market share in terms of UPI transaction volume, just behind PhonePe, which has a 48.8% market share.
Google Pay recently launched an AI-powered pre-sanctioned credit line on UPI for small-size loans starting from ₹15000 in partnership with NBFC to help small merchants meet their working capital requirements. For details visit here.
- No Wallet option, money can be directly debited and transferred to any Bank Account you wish. Therefore no KYC documents are required.
- Contactless offline payment up to ₹500 without OTP requirement via UPI Lite X.
- Add any RuPay Credit Card and use it as “Scan & Pay”.
- Best reward programs and offers amongst all UPI payment apps in India.
- In-App Google Play and Google Ad Payment option.
- Small ticket credit line on UPI in collaboration with NBFC.
- Chat before paying.
- Google Pay Safe Shield. Now you can secure your UPI payments using biometrics or Face ID.
- Spam Warning, You may Block any unwanted UPI request that seems like fraud.
- Excellent UI and user-friendly navigation.
- Transfer money between VPA, QR Scan, and Bank Account.
- In-app payments for hundreds of partnered merchants.
- Integrate Google Pay API for merchant setup.
Download Google Pay. (Referral Link, Use Code: b4x88w)
Phone Pe is a Bangalore-based UPI payments App launched in 2016. This payment App is now owned by e-commerce giant Walmart. PhonePe leads the UPI Payments market in India with almost 49% market share in terms of transaction volume. The popularity and market share of PhonePe are growing every month and it is now a household when are talking about digital payment.
PhonePe’s VPA handler banks are Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and Yes Bank. PhonePe is now a household name, you may find the PhonePe QR code scanner in every small merchant outlet, Tea, or Vegetable vendor across India. PhonePe, Paytm, and Google Pay almost revolutionized India’s digital payments landscape. For the small business, PhonePe also offers the QR Voice soundbox, for instant credit confirmation.
In February 2023, PhonePe started services of UPI for International payments in UAE, Nepal, Singapore, Mauritius, and Bhutan, now PhonePe users can use UPI for payments in their local currencies by directly debiting the Indian Bank Account.
- Most popular UPI payments app in India and leads the UPI payments in India.
- You can link your RuPay Credit card with UPI from the App.
- Account Aggregator.
- Manage recurring payment Autopay.
- Add any RuPay Credit Card and use it as “Scan & Pay”.
- You can invest in Mutual Funds or Purchase insurance schemes using the PhonePe UPI App.
- Excellent Cash Back and reward programs across several merchant websites
- You can use the Phone Pe Wallet option in most Indian E-commerce websites’ Payment gateway.
- You can pay credit card bills using the PhonePe UPI App.
- Money transfer using UPI limit up to Rs.1.00 Lacs.
- Can integrate Jio Money with Phone Pe Wallet.
- Excellent UI
- A user can access multiple Bank Accounts using the PhonePe UPI App
3. Paytm Payment Bank
India’s largest digital wallet service provider and most downloaded UPI app on both Android and iOS platforms. Paytm was the pioneer of digital payment service in India and one of the best UPI apps in India. The App has excellent UI and integrates many services in a single app platform.
As per the latest NPCI date, Paytm Payment Bank is the 3rd largest UPI Payment Apps in India with a total transaction volume of Rs.170767.35. Paytm is probably the most feature-riched UPI Payments App in India, integrating tons of features of bill payments.
- 3rd largest UPI Payment App in India
- Integrates many features in a single platform.
- Rupay Virtual Debit Card linked with Paytm Payment Bank.
- All kinds of bill payments including credit card bill payments, insurance premium payments, mutual funds payments, etc.
- Add any RuPay Credit Card and use it as “Scan & Pay”.
- Access the Paytm Online eCommerce store directly from the Paytm App or Paytm Mall.
- Transfer money between mobile numbers or VPA.
- Buy Now Pay Later service called Paytm Postpaid.
Download the Paytm UPI App.
4. Amazon Pay
Amazon, the number one online marketplace in the World and India, also integrates UPI Payment features in their App, named Amazon Pay. The app is also one of the leading UPI payment apps in India, and shares almost 1% of UPI transactions in India.
In terms of offers and discounts, Amazon Pay may be the number one Payment App in India, offering tons of rewards and cashback to its customers, mostly to Amazon App users. The App has also a digital wallet service, which can be linked and used for online payments.
- Leading Payment Apps in India, in terms of Offers, rewards, and CashBack.
- Get your own @apl UPI ID powered by Axis Bank.
- Daily UPI transaction limit 10 Lacs.
- Tons of in-app features like bill payments, credit card payments, and mobile recharge.
- Investment in direct schemes of Mutual Funds, Insurance, FDs, etc.
- Digital Wallet, can be linked with merchant sites like Swiggy, Uber, Zomato, etc., and earn cashback.
- Send and receive money using the QR code.
- Directly connect with IRCTC to book rail tickets.
- Many other features are offered by the apps like PhonePe or GPay.
CRED, best known for credit card bill payments, is also an excellent UPI Payments app and its card payment process builds on the UPI platform. You can pay credit bills within a fraction of a second and earn CRED coins, which can be used later to purchase items. The app later adds the bill payment and wallet option like all other UPI Apps in India. You can earn Cred coins and also avail money back which will be credited to your CRED wallet.
The Cred App has an excellent rating of 4.5 in the Android Play Store and 4.8 in the iOS App Store due to its amazing fast payment features and excellent reward programs.
CRED is the fourth largest UPI app in India with a market share of 2.00% in July 2023 and the fourth-largest app in terms of volume of transactions.
- Number one credit card bill payment app in India.
- Biometric or Face ID login for security.
- Add any RuPay Credit Card and use it as “Scan & Pay”.
- Excellent rating both in the Apple App Store and Android Play Store.
- Huge Cashback and rewards programs across different merchant sites.
- Pay all kinds of bills, insurance premiums, and subscription-based payments from a single place.
- Money transfer between VPA, pay to contacts and scan and pay.
- UPI payments on RuPay credit card.
Best UPI Payment Apps from Banks
All Indian commercial banks have their own UPI apps, which can be found integrated with their existing mobile banking app or have separate BHIM UPI apps. Some of the apps are very popular and provide excellent payment processing for their customers.
Amongst the Indian Bank’s own UPI Apps, Axim Bank’s UPI apps already crossed the 100 Mn user base, although ICICI Bank ranks first in terms of the total value of transactions in the year 2023. The features of the bank’s own UPI apps are more or less. These apps are not as popular as the third-party apps as these apps can not match the rewards and cashback offered by the third-party UPI Apps.
1. Axis Mobile
Axis Bank’s UPI app is the most popular and has the largest number of active users among all banks in India. Axis Bank has three UPI Payment platforms, Axis Mobile, BHIM Axis Pay, and Freecharge, and VPA handler of many third-party apps including GPay, CRED, and Amazon Pay. The app has an excellent 4.8-star rating in the Play Store with more than 10Mn downloads.
2. iMobile by ICICI Bank
ICICI Bank is the technologically most innovative bank in India and Mobile is one of the best banking apps in India. The ICICI Bank ranks first amongst the Indian Banks in terms of transaction value. The app has inbuild BHIM UPI integration, where you can make UPI transactions like QR payments, and fund transfers along with other features of the iMobile App. ICICI Bank is also a PSB and VPA handler of many third-party apps including GPay and Whatsapp Pay. The App has a 4.5-star rating in the Android Play Store and a 4.7-star rating in the iOS App Store.
BHIM or Bharat Interface for Money is the official UPI App developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI). The app has many features like QR payments, auto-recurring debit mandate, bill payments, and many more. The app has also a 4.5-star rating both in iOS and Android versions. However, the transaction volume from the BHIM app is getting reduced every month as the app is not able to match rewards and cash-back programs offered by third-party apps like GPay, CRED, or PhonePe. The creation of VPA and ready-to-print QR generation is extremely easy in the BHIM app. The app was developed by NPCI keeping in mind to boost the retail payment solutions for small business owners like Street vendors, Kirana shops, etc. Any retail business owner can generate Bharat QR easily and display it at their outlet. The introduction of the BHIM app revolutionized the digital payment system in India and it helped India to become the 3rd largest in terms of digital transaction volume. All the third-party apps use the BHIM framework for P2P and P2M payments.
Now you can also add any RuPay Credit Card on the BHIM app and avail of the features of “Scan & Pay” using the BHIM App. For detailed guidelines see this article
4. BHIM SBIPay
BHIM SBI is the official BHIM UPI Payments app from India’s largest Bank. You can also find UPI payment-enabled SBIs and other apps like SBI Yono or Yono Lite. BHIM SBI is a very good UPI app for Small business and retail customers like street vendors, grocery shops, etc. Anyone can generate Bharat QR instantly and use it in their business outlet. You can also create dynamic QR and share using WhatsApp. The app has a very good 4.2-star rating in the Android Play Store with more than 1 crore users.
5. Payzapp from HDFC Bank
Payzapp is an excellent digital wallet cum UPI App from HDFC Bank, though it is not the official HDFC Bank’s mobile banking app. Anyone can create a digital wallet instantly using a mobile number and create a virtual Visa Debit card. The app has a pretty good rating both in iOS and Android Play Store. The app provides several payment options including UPI payments. The app also has many cashback and reward programs for QR or bill payments using the UPI. The app also provides an Account Aggregator option for viewing multiple bank accounts from a single platform.
6. Yes Pay from Yes Bank
YesPay is the official mobile banking app of Yes Bank, although anyone can use BHIM Yes Pay. The app also provides a Virtual Debit Card and Digital Wallet facility for its customers. Yes Bank is one of the largest PSP (Payment Service Providers) and VPA handlers of many third-party apps including PhonePe and Amazon Pay. The Yes Pay app has a good rating both in iOS and Android versions.
Safety Tips while Using UPI Apps for Transaction
The popularity and rising Number of Transactions made on the UPI Platform also increase the chances of fraud or unauthorized debit of the account without the consent of Account holders. Therefore you must keep in mind some essential security measures while making any UPI transaction on mobile.
- Never ever share your VPA ID (Virtual Payment Address) with an unknown person.
- Please remember, that you need a UPI PIN for sending money, not receiving money. Never authenticate any UPI transaction for receiving money.
- Always validate the VPA ID before authorizing any payments.
- Don’t ever authorize any UPI transaction alert on mobile without carefully examining the source or which way the money is going. If the message shows Someone is requesting your money, then your UPI Linked Account will be debited if you accept the request. Fraudsters use this method to transfer money from Bank accounts nowadays. If you use Google Pay, then you must observe which way the money is going, it will show by Arrow in which direction your money is going. Always be careful about sending and requesting alerts.
- Do not install any remote access Apps like AnyDesk or TeamViewer on your smartphone. This may lead to data siphoning.
- Never install any UPI App that is not trustworthy. You may find numerous Apps like BHIM Modi, Bharat BHIM, or Modi ka BHIM types of counterfeit UPI App flooded in the Google Play store. Always try to install trustworthy UPI Apps which I will discuss later in this article.
- Never share OTP with an unknown person.
According to NPCI, the UPI has only reached 10% of the population and has the ability to grow 10 folds in coming years and the share of P2M (Peer to Merchants) payments has already surpassed the P2P (Peer to Peer) payments.
With the revolutionization of mobile payment Technology in India, numerous new and old UPI payment apps in India introduced several new innovations in the digital payment system. Now mobile users have different options to transfer money between accounts using the latest and innovative technology. Today you can pay your credit card bill using the UPI App with instant credit confirmation. The unique feature of UPI makes it hugely popular not only among Indian Companies but also among several multi-national companies.
In a country like India, which is way behind many Western countries in terms of innovative technology, UPI helps us to gain 3rd place in terms of digital adoption, only behind China and the USA. India’s digital adoption is almost 87%, way ahead of the world average, still, the market is untapped.
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