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Interoperability in payments to be a reality with the United Payments Interface

The National Payments Corporation of India has initiated the implementation of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to simplify and provide interoperability with a single interface across all systems. The NPCI has published a draft document (pdf) for the payments architecture and will soon be coming out with application program interface (API) for payments systems providers to implement. Nandan Nilekani, honorary advisor for innovation at NPCI at an event in Mumbai said that a pilot programme using the UPI will be coming out within 4-5 months. To simplify things, the UPI is an additional layer of payments architecture built upon the IMPS mobile payments system. However, the additional layer provided by the UPI will allow interoperability between different payment systems. For example, through the UPI, a Paytm customer can make a payment to an HDFC Bank's customer directly into their account. Some of the core features of the UPI include:  - The ability to make payments using a mobile phone from person to person, person to entity, entity to person. - The UPI will allow payments only by providing an address with others without having ever provide account details or credentials on third party applications or websites. This will be done through virtual payment addresses that are aliases to bank accounts. Payment service providers can make payments from any account using any number of virtual addresses using credentials such as passwords, PINs, or biometrics on mobile phone. -The payments architecture will also allow people to initiate pull or push payments.The UPI will allow users…

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