This is the era of demonetization and start of cashless banking for India. While this bold move by PM Modi is commendable and will brighten India’s future but at the same time public is struggling for lack of cash in ATM machines and long queue’s in bank branches.
With this note, you should also know that there are many ways of paying all your bills, utilities and even do daily shopping without any cash in hand. You don’t need to stand in ATM’s or branch queue’s daily for your money needs.
Here is a quick glance of what you can do with these payment methods:
- Pay utility bills like electricity, water, telephone etc.
- Recharge mobile, DTH etc.
- Buy your daily groceries and even vegetables and fruits.
- Shop in malls or departmental stores.
- Pay for food in restaurant or online ordering.
- Booking of railway tickets, air tickets or any other travel tickets.
Now, we will begin with various types of payments methods which may ease your daily life to a great extent:
- Electronic Wallets
- UPI – Unified Payment Interface
- USSD – Unstructured Supplementary Service Data
- AEPS – Aadhar Enabled Payment System
- Cash/Point of Sale Machines
Various wallets are available in India through which you can do all online payments and even shop in some stores. You need to transfer money from your account in these wallets and use them wherever you want. Top wallets in India are:
PayTM is one of the largest electronic wallets cum e-commerce platforms in India, offering its customers a digital wallet to store money, make quick payments and purchase all sort of items.
After demonetisation, PayTm has also tied up with various stores like big bazaar where you can shop and pay through wallet. Even some tea and milk stalls and vegetable as well as fruit vendors now accept payment through PayTm.
PayUMoney, a Gurgaon-based company that provides online payment solutions launched its wallet service last year. This e-wallet by PayUMoney enables the user to store cash and pay for various services and transactions.
MobiKwik is an independent mobile payment network that allows its users to add money using debit, credit card, net banking and even doorstep cash collection service, which can in turn be used to recharge, pay utility bills and shop at marketplaces.
Citrus Pay is also a popular e-wallet app for cash storage, payments and money transfers.
Besides these top wallets, other known e-wallets are:
UNIFIED PAYMENTS INTERFACE (UPI)
Unified Payments Interface was launched by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) to facilitate towards government’s and RBI move of cash less and more digital society.
UPI is built on IMPS platform (Immediate Payment Service Platform) and basically powers bank accounts of various participating banks (in NPCI) to carry out following functions:
UPI platform can be used for:
- Immediate money transfer through mobile device round the clock 24*7 and 365 days.
- Single mobile application for accessing different bank accounts
- Single Click 2 Factor Authentication .
- Virtual address of the customer for Pull & Push provides for incremental security with the customer not required to enter the details such as Card no, Account number; IFSC etc.
- Bill Sharing with friends.
- Merchant Payment with Single Application or In-App Payments.
- Scheduling PUSH and PULL Payments for various purposes.
- Utility Bill Payments, Over the Counter Payments, Barcode (Scan and Pay) based payments.
- Donations, Collections, Disbursements Scalable.
- Raising Complaint from Mobile App directly.
USSD (UNSTRUCTURED SUPPLEMENTARY SERVICE DATA)
You must be aware that telecom operators use USSD platform for mobile recharge and enquiries like balance, various offers etc. Now, we can use the same platform for banking service and fund transfer also on the basis of your registered mobile number. The connection to the server of your bank goes through the servers of telecom companies and NPCI handles all the technicality of this USSD service. A special number *99# is fixed to access the banking services. This number works across the banks and his system of banking transaction is termed as the NUUP (National Unified USSD Platform).
NUUP uses USSD to perform various financial, non-financial and value added services. You can not only check your balance and see mini statement but also send money. There are some more options such as show MMID, generate OTP and change M-PIN.
USSD code For Different Languages
USSD code is available in regional languages also. Currently, this service is available in 10 regional languages along with Hindi and English.
- English *99#
- Hindi *99*22#
- Tamil *99*23#
- Telugu *99*24#
- Malayalam *99*25#
- Kannada *99*26#
- Gujarati *99*27#
- Marathi *99*28#
- Bengali *99*29#
- Punjabi *99*30#
- Assamese *99*31#
- Oriya *99*32#
However, at present USSD in languages other than English can be used only for following three services viz Balance enquiry, Mini statement and Funds transfer using IFSC and Account number
How to use USSD: This flowchart will show how you can use USSD for payments and other facilities:
Dial *99# from your registered mobile and wait for 5 seconds.
Enter the three letter abbreviation of your bank name or first four-letter of bank IFSC or first two digits of bank’s numeric code and hit send or call button.
You will see some options for the services. It can be different for different banks. These options are-
- Account Balance
- Mini statement
- Send money using MMID
- Send Money using IFSC
- Send money using Aadhaar Number
- Show MMID
- Change M-PIN
- Generate OTP
You can use any desired option like for sending money using IFSC, you need to press 4 from your mobile and thereafter enter beneficiary account number and IFSC code.
USSD uniquely offers payment through Aadhaar number. If the Aadhaar number is linked to the beneficiary account, then you can transfer money using Aadhaar number. Enter 5 and submit to access next menu. Enter beneficiary Aadhaar number, amount and remarks (optional) and click submit to go to the next step. Enter your mobile banking M-PIN and last four digits of your account number and submit to transfer money. A confirmation screen showing success response will be displayed.
Charges and transaction limit for USSD Banking
The telecom service providers will charge to use NUUP services. However, TRAI has set a maximum limit of ₹ 1.50/ transaction but you need to contact your telecom service operator to confirm exact charges. The transactions limit for NUUP is set to ₹ 5000 per transaction by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS)
Like UPI and USSD, this is another step taken by NPCI towards digital India which enables you to get money through your Aadhaar number and data.
AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System) requires you to register your Aadhaar number in your bank account and then through BC (Banking or Business Correspondents) you can get your money without any need of debit card or signature or visiting branch premises.
Main functions which are at present enables through AEPS (Aadhaar Enabled Payment System) are:
- Balance Inquiry
- Cash Deposit
- Cash Withdrawal
- Aadhaar to Aadhaar Fund Transfer
Except Fund transfer, one can perform all the transactions through the banking correspondent of any bank. For fund transfer, you will need the BC of your own bank.
Modus Operandi of Aadhaar Enables Payment System (AEPS)
You must be thinking how one can withdraw money with only Aadhaar number and what if someone uses someone else’s Aadhaar number. When you enrolled for Aadhaar, UIDAI took your fingerprints and iris image which are unique for each and every person. AEPS uses this basic for verification of transaction.
The fingerprint is authenticated by the UIDAI. In response to a transaction, UIDAI tells to the bank about the authenticity of the user. Once, UIDAI authenticates, the bank gives green signal to the transaction.
So, in the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System following 6 institutions are involved.
- You, the bank customer
- Banking correspondent – The facilitator of AEPS
- The bank of BC – The bank to which banking correspondent is attached
- Your Bank – the bank with which you held the bank account
- NPCI – It does switching, clearing and settlement of transactions
- UIDAI – For finger-print authentication
Charges of AEPS
Using AEPS for banking transaction is quite easy but a bit costly and charges can go upto Rs 15 for one transaction. UIDAI may charge a nominal fees for authentication, however it is not charging yet. The NPCI charges 10 paise for authentication and 25 paise for settlement. And finally, the bank can charge 1% of the transaction value if it is related to other bank. The minimum fess for other bank transaction would be Rs 5 and maximum fees would be Rs 15. (source-UPI website)
POINT OF SALE MACHINES
PoS machines are also very helpful in this move towards digital India and cashless banking. Nowadays almost all merchants purchase one or other PoS machine and you can simply swipe your debit or credit card there to pay for your purchase or food bill or anything else. Usually, merchants pay fee to the bank for PoS transactions but some merchants may also charge you some percent of total billed amount.