Uber India has added Unified Payments Interface to its system. The US-based company today launched UPI integration in partnership with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and banking partners Axis Bank and HDFC Bank.
Launching the integration, Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice, Government of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, “India’s digital economy will become a $1 Tn economy in the next five years. India’s digital payments economy alone will be bigger than $500 Bn. Integration of the Uber app with UPI-BHIM will boost the digital economy of India.”
When Uber entered India in 2013, just like other countries, it mandated a credit card registration for payment of rides. Later, after RBI made it mandatory for companies to follow a two-step authentication process for credit card transactions, the company tied up with Paytm to offer the services of a semi-closed wallet. Later in 2015, it also added a cash payments option on the ride-hailing app.
The UPI integration in partnership with Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, users can now pay Uber fares through cash, Paytm, debit/credit cards as well as UPI interface.
Talking about the move, David Richter, SVP-Global Business, Uber said, “Uber, like several other tech companies in India and around the world, depends on consumers being able to frequently make low-value payments with minimal friction. UPI integration will bring millions of riders and driver partners into the digital payments ecosystem, offering them another secure and seamless payment interface and bolster the nation’s digital payment revolution.”
David reaffirmed that India is one of the biggest focus markets for Uber, outside of the United States. Currently Uber is available in 500+ cities across 73 countries. In India, the service is available in 29 cities.
Uber UPI Integration
Uber had started the pilot for UPI payments in July 2017 with a limited set of users. From today, the service will be available to all the Uber users. While the BHIM App integration in partnership with HDFC Bank for the driver partners’ app will be done later.
What Is UPI?
Unified Payments Interface was launched in August 2016 by the RBI in conjunction with NPCI. It powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of a participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It is currently supported by 53 banks. It allows immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24*7 and 365 days. Once a beneficiary is added to the address, a MPIN ensures transaction within seconds.
How To Register
To register for the service, users can locate it as a payment option in the ‘Payment’ tab of the Uber app. They can add the option by selecting the ‘Add Payment Method’ button. To pay in-app a user is then asked to enter their UPI ID. After that, one gets an SMS from the UPI service provider and has to authenticate the payment separately. Users can also pay from any bank’s UPI, including the BHIM app.
How Will UPI Integration Help Users
Uber claims that the integration will make its payments seamless. Users that use Paytm wallet have to maintain a minimum balance (INR 350) in their accounts. With UPI they can book a cab without the minimum balance cap. The users that pay via card also do not have to fret about the minimum balance. But since in this interface users will use UPI pin to authenticate the payments, they do not have to rely on receiving an OTP for two factor-authentication mandated by RBI.
Commenting on the significance of public-private partnership for a cashless economy Dilip Asbe, Chief Operating Officer, National Payments Corporation of India said, “Nearly 60% of app-based taxi drivers continue to make cash transactions, Uber’s integration with BHIM/UPI will provide a positive stimulus to strengthen the adoption of digital payments.”
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) stated that transaction volumes of UPI rose to 11.44 Mn in July 2017. The value of UPI transactions stood at about $527.7 Mn (INR 33,811.64 Cr) in the same month.
In the past, when the service was launched, several startups came up with their mobile apps based on UPI such as Trupay, Razorpay, MobiKwik, and Flipkart-owned wallet PhonePay. Uber’s Indian rival Ola also integrated UPI in April this year.
The government has managed to find an international endorser for its UPI technology with Uber. While Uber, on the other hand, has taken a step forward towards its commitment towards the Indian market with the partnership with NPCI, Axis Bank, and HDFC Bank.