UPI’s rapid growth proves India can build world-class payments infrastructure from scratch

Author: Venkatesh Hariharan 

This is the third in an IDFC Institute-ThePrint partnership series, part of the Data Governance Network’s work on data governance policies and infrastructure in India. Published on January 29, 2020 . The views are of the individual author.

The Unified Payments Interface crossed a billion transactions a month in 2019, and is now up to 1.3 billion transactions a month. In the three years since its launch, the UPI has become one of the fastest-growing payment platforms in the world and has attracted attention from global policy-makers. It is now regarded as an important institutional and public policy innovation.

Innovation, simplicity, inclusion

The first business process innovation was that the entity collecting permission for debiting a user’s account was decoupled from the account holder’s bank. The business process rule in banking is that, “Your account shall not be debited without your permission.” In the past, this meant that the user had to submit debit instructions directly to the bank, either by signing a cheque or via Internet banking system.

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