UPI i.e Unified Payment Interface is a public private partnership between the Reserve Bank and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India)
UPI is an advanced mechanism of cashless money transfers including C to C (Consumer to Consumer), B to C (Business to Consumer or B to B.
The advantage of UPI is that using the underlying banking systems, it allows transfers from one bank account to another instantly. The technology is similar to NEFT but instant works 24 x 7.
These are the key advantages of UPI
Money can be transferred using VPA (Virtual Payment address) which is like an email id e.g. vijaysharma@icici. This makes it easier to use, as no IFC code and account number is required. Even if the user changes their bank account, the VPA can just be pointed to the new account without the payer having to change anything.
At this time, there is no commission on transactions.
Money goes directly into the bank account of the target user, not into a wallet.
UPI also allows for payment requests, equivalent to raising a bill that can be sent to user.
A payment request can also be for a future date where a user can snooze a payment and pay it later.
UPI requires a valid bank account and works on an Android phone with the phone number that is registered with the bank.
31 banks are already have activated UPI including SBI, HDFC, ICICI, Axis bank, etc.