India has now crossed more than 1200 million active mobile users and mobile Payment apps getting huge impetus after India Govt initiated several measures to boost digital payment solutions.
With the implementation of the Unified Payment Interface or UPI platform, several Indian Banks and the third-party company introduced numerous mobile payment apps in India. You can easily find the list of such UPI payments app 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 the list of some unique and innovative UPI payments app which 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 and partnering with any Indian Bank. As of January 2020, 144 Banks have already joined in UPI payment platform.
Several internet merchant websites like Amazon, Ola, Uber are also lining up to launch their UPI App in India. Popular messaging app WhatsApp has also cleared RBI’s data localization norms and likely to launch it’s UPI Payment App WhatsApp Pay very soon partnered with ICICI Bank. As per the latest updates government is making the QR code-based payment system mandatory at all shops, therefore we might witness many folds increase in the UPI Payment system in India’s retail segment.
As per the latest news, the popularity of UPI prompts Google to write a letter to US Federal Reserves to adopt a similar digital payment mechanism in the US.
Before getting into the actual topic, let’s have some ideas about UPI and How it Works?
What is UPI?
UPI or Unified Payment interface is a payment solution developed by National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI) under the guidelines of 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 IFSC Code, both the sender and receiver need a VPA or Virtual Payment Address. The VPA is something like this [email protected] or [email protected] etc.
You can create several VPA using BHIM-UPI official android app or using any of the Indian Banks UPI apps and linked more than one Bank Account, only you have to link the same mobile number or SIM which 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 digital payment apps have already launched in India. Even social media sites like Twitter or Facebook and several popular messaging applications like Hike Messenger also integrating 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 bill online using UPI and IMPS. You can read the article here.
With the launch of the UPI 2.0 version by NPCI, many Fintech firms and banks like ICICI Bank, has started PayLater service for the Digital Credit system for their customers. You can read here the best PayLater Apps in India for Digital Credit.
What is UPI 2.0?
UPI 2.0 is the latest version of UPI launched by NPCI. Some new features have included in the new UPI version. Some of the latest features included in UPI 2.0 is as under
- You can now link the Over Draft account i.e Credit account with UPI, which was not possible previously.
- More secure QR code payment by additional signed QR form. No passcode required at the time of QR scanning.
- Pre-authorized debit mandate to debit the account later. This option enables Banks to create a Pay Later option at payment gateway.
- Under the UPI 2.0 framework, you can now subscribe to Initial Public Offerings (IPO).
How UPI Works?
UPI Payments works by following the Six different methods
1. # QR Code: By scanning the QR code displayed at various merchant stores and confirming the amount by entering the MPIN in your UPI payments app. As per the latest UPI 2.0 version, you don’t have to enter the passcode, instead, you can use signed QR & intent.
2.# VPA id: You have to share your VPA id, the store then initiate the payment process. You will receive a notification on your mobile, you have to confirm the transaction by entering your MPIN in UPI App. This type of method, you will find in online shopping stores like Amazon or Flipkart.
3.#Mobile Number: You can send money to a mobile number linked to any Bank Account by sharing MMID.
4. #Aadhaar Number: You can send and receive money by sharing the Adhaar Number linked Bank Account. You have to scan the fingerprint for transferring money by this process.
5.#Sharing account Number & IFSC: This is a very common method of transferring money between the account numbers of different Banks.
6.#Contact Less or Audio NFC Technology: The contactless method is the most futuristic and innovative method, for transferring money using the Audio NFC Technology. Here, you do not have to share any VPA id or have to confirm any two factors authentication. Instead, an ultra-high-frequency sound wave (Near Field Communication sensor) communicates between the two UPI enabled devices (now available only in high-end smartphones) and matching the wavelength of two devices can authenticate the money transfer. Google Pay mobile payments app Cash Mode works using this method. Several other UPI payments app like PhonePe or HDFC Bank PayZapp UPI payments app may launch the Proximity payment very soon.
Can anyone create a UPI App?
Any third party organizations or entities can create UPI SDK integrating its API. To enable UPI, a sponsored Bank or Payment service Bank is required. Because without any sponsored or partner Bank, UPI transactions will not be possible.
Facts & Features of UPI
- The maximum upper limit of UPI decided by the NPCI is Rs.1.00 Lacs.
- As per the latest RBI guidelines, you can interlink all your existing KYC complied e-wallet account. Though this service has started by only a few UPI App provider in India. Maybe in the future, we will find more UPI app integrates interoperability of mobile wallet.
- You can initiate a maximum of 20 transactions in 24 hours.
- All the UPI transactions will complete on a real-time basis.
- UPI and IMPS work on the same platforms, but UPI is more user-friendly and easy to understand.
- As of January 2020, 144 Banks in India now participate in UPI transactions.
- Anyone can add any numbers of Bank account using any Bank’s UPI payments app
- Anyone can have multiple UPI VPA ID.
- As per RBI guidelines, only commercial banks can act as a payment system provider (PSP) in UPI transaction.
- 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.
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) to an unknown person.
- 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 you money, then your UPI Linked Account will be debited if you accept the request. The fraudster using this method to transfer money from the Bank Account 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 which is not trustworthy. You may find numerous Apps like BHIM Modi, Bharat BHIM or Modi ka BHIM types of counterfeit UPI App flooded in Google Play store. Always try to install the trustworthy UPI Apps which I will discuss later in this article.
List of Top 7 Best UPI payments app in India
More than 40 Indian Govt and Private Banks now participate in UPI Payments platforms. Almost all banks have their own UPI Payment app in Google Play or iOS App Store. Some third-party companies also have their own UPI app partnering with any Indian Bank. Some Banks have integrated UPI Payments with their existing mobile banking app or have created a new BHIM UPI app.
You can find hundreds of UPI Payments apps if you search in Google Play. Here I try to cover a list of top 7 UPI payments app in India based on User Interface, Rewards Programs, and Uniqueness.
Here’s the list of UPI App for smooth money transfer between the Bank Accounts
- Google Pay
- Phone Pe
- PayZapp by HDFC Bank
- Pockets by ICICI Bank
Here’s the UPI App-Wise Market Share of UPI transaction as of August 2019 in terms of the transaction volume. Data: Razorpay
Total Number of the transaction as on January 2020 was 1305.02 million. (Source: NPCI)
Top 4 UPI App Market Share as on August 2019 in terms of value (in Crores)
1.# Google Pay:
Google Pay (formerly known as Tez) is number one in 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 transaction both in terms of Transaction Value. Google Pay has more than 6.7 crores active monthly users in India.
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 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.
Soon, you can link PayPal to Google Pay (now only available in the US and Germany) via the same unified API. That means Indian merchants can accept Google Pay payments from overseas countries and Vise Versa. Google is creating a single Google Pay SDK for merchants and developers across the world. Therefore, soon you can use Google Pay for international transactions also.
Google Pay is the first UPI app that enables Proximity feature (NFC Technology) in its platform. Google Pay simplified the NFC Technology and introduce a technology that can capture the ultrasonic wavelength in the Phone’s Mic and speaker (Called Audio QR Technology). Therefore, any smartphone can be enabled to communicate using Audio QR Technology using ultra-high-frequency sound waves. Currently, only CashMode works using this method.
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 2000 online merchants partners in India. As per NPCI data, Google Pay leads the UPI payment market with a 60% market share and 18 crores users downloaded the App since September 2017.
- Proximity features (Audio NFC Technology) in Cash Mode Transactions.
- No Wallet option, money can be directly debited and transferred to any Bank Account you wish. Therefore no KYC documents are required.
- Best reward programs and offers amongst the all UPI payments app in India.
- In-App Google Play and Google Ad Payment option.
- Add any UPI participating Bank Accounts in India.
- Chat before pay.
- Google Pay Safe shield. Now you can secure your UPI payments using biometrics. Google Pay adds biometrics API for its latest version of Android 10 devices.
- Spam Warning, You may Block any unwanted UPI request which seems like fraud.
- Excellent UI and user-friendly navigation.
- Transfer money between UPI id or QR Code
- In-app payments for hundreds of partnered merchants.
- Integrate Google Pay API for merchant set up.
Download Google Pay. (Referral Link, Use Code: b4x88w)
2.# Phone Pe
Phone Pe is a Bangalore based UPI payments App launched in 2016. This payments App now acquired by e-commerce giant Flipkart. PhonePe is the first UPI Payment platform in India, will be integrated as a payment option in Walmart India’s “B2B Cash&Carryy Stores”.
Phone Pe is partnered with YesBank to provide UPI payment service in India. As of August 2019 data PhonePe has a 37.3% market share in UPI transaction volume.
You can link your existing Jio Money, Freecharge and Airtel Money e-wallet with Phone Pe App and seamlessly transfer money between these wallets.
- Most popular UPI payments app in India.
- Interoperability amongst the e-wallet providers in India.
- Purchase Gold using Phone Pe Wallets.
- Excellent Cash Back and reward programs across several merchant websites
- You can use the Phone Pe Wallet option in most of Indian E-commerce websites Payment gateway.
- You can pay credit card bills using the Phone Pe 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 Phone Pe UPI App
3.# Paytm App
India’s largest digital wallet service provider and most downloaded UPI app in both Android and iOS platforms. Paytm was the pioneer of digital payment service in India and one of the best UPI app in India. The App has excellent UI and integrates many services in a single app platform.
As of August 2019 data, Paytm accounts for around 5.93% market share in overall UPI transactions and dominates QR code-based offline transaction market in India. (August 2019)
- Most popular money transfer app in India.
- Integrates many features in a single platform. You can create the Paytm Payment Bank Account after full verification of KYC.
- Rupay Virtual Debit Card linked with Paytm Payment Bank.
- Credit Card bill payments.
- Access Paytm Online eCommerce store directly from Paytm App or Paytm Mall.
- Transfer money using the QR code or sharing the Payment link.
- Buy Now Pay Later service for ICICI Bank customers.
Download Paytm UPI App.
4. # Freecharge Payment App
Freecharge is also a very popular UPI money transfer app in India for its several cashback and in-app discounts and offers. You can get your own @freecharge UPI Id using this App.
You can add multiple Bank Account linked with the mobile number registered for the Freecharge App. You can also create a FreeCharge mobile wallet by uploading some KYC documents.
This Gurgaon based Fintech startup now is acquired by Axis Bank.
- One of the highest-rated money transfers UPI app in both the App Store and Play Store.
- Get your own @freecharge UPI id powered by Axis Bank.
- In-App merchant discounts and offers.
- Send money using the QR code.
- Invest in Direct Mutual Funds.
5.# PayZapp by HDFC Bank
Another UPI payments app cum digital wallet offered by HDFC Bank in India. This mobile Payment app also very popular in India due to its numerous cashback offers across different merchant sites. You can also get a Visa Virtual Debit card for online payments.
- In-App virtual Visa Debit card for online transactions.
- Proximity Payments (Soundwave communication similar to G Pay) Soon to be launched.
- Huge Cashback and rewards programs across different merchant sites. Visit here for details.
- PayZapp wallet option on all e-commerce sites in India.
- Option for PayZapp business Account.
- VPA ID and QR code money transfer option.
6.# Pockets by ICICI Bank
Digital wallet cum UPI payments app offered by ICICI Bank.
ICICI Bank so far is the most innovative Bank amongst the Indian Banks and Pockets Digital wallet is one such innovation, first launched by ICICI Bank in India. ICICI Bank’s Pockets can also be used as a Digital Bank Account.
- Virtual digital wallet with an option to convert into a savings account.
- Free virtual Visa Debit Card, users can also get a physical debit card. (Domestic Card)
- Pockets’ wallets can also be accessed with ICICI Bank NetBanking.
- Easy interface with one click add fund option.
- VPA ID and QR code money transfer option.
- Uses similar Audio QR technology ToneTag for pairing devices and making a contactless payment.
- Numerous deals and discounts with various merchants. For details visit here.
This Gurgaon based eWallet cum UPI payment App is one of the most popular money transfer App in India and competes with other major UPI Apps like Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm. Mobikwik not only provides the UPI transaction facility, but they also have a variety of utility services from mobile recharge to Direct Mutual Fund investment from the single App.
Mobikwik is also one of the most popular payment gateway service providers in India and companies like Uber, Zomato, Dominos, IRCTC, etc uses their payment gateway.
Mobikwik is one of the most downloaded and highly rated UPI apps both in Android and iOS App Store.
- Smooth and clean App interface.
- Collect Payback points from every mobile recharges or utility bill payments which can be redeemed for future payments.
- In-App Digital loan up to Rs.1.00 lacs without any paper documentation.
- An in-app purchase of a variety of insurance products like health insurance, Home Insurance, Personal Accidental Insurance, etc.
- Invest in Direct Mutual Fund Schemes.
- Excellent discount and Cashback offers with a number of online merchant partners. For details on Mobikwik Offers, check here.
With the revolutionization of mobile payments Technology in India, numerous new and old UPI payments app in India introducing several new innovations in the digital payment system. Now the mobile users have different options to transfer money between the accounts using the latest and innovative technology. Recently Popular messaging service WhatsApp introduce WhatsApp Pay using the UPI platform. Though this Payment option is in the nascent stage, only WhatsApp Pay activated user can activate another user’s in-app payment option. That means only you can see the WhatsApp Payment option if someone sends you money using Whatsapp.
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