by Aakriti Shrivastava

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed Dilip Asbe as its new Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NPCI. Asbe replaces A P Hota, who retired in August 2017.

There were media reports that the position would be taken over by Visa India head Uttam Nayak and that Asbe would be given the position of deputy managing director. Meanwhile, the NPCI has appointed B Sambamurthy as its interim Chairman.

Asbe has played a pivotal role in operationalising large scale payment processing platforms like Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which facilitates quick money transfer between different banks, payment application Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), the instant interbank electronic fund transfer service, and Rupay cards, the Indian version of network providers like Visa/Mastercard.

NPCI is an umbrella organization for retail payments in India set up jointly by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks Association (IBA).

BHIM and UPI 2.0

In December, the UPI transactions surged both in value by 36 per cent to touch Rs 131.4 billion (Rs 13,140 crore), showed the latest data as on January 2, by NPCI.

In the same period, the BHIM app saw transactions volume to the tune of 9.1 million in the month of December 2017, valued at Rs 3,083.2 crore, actually declining when there was massive growth in UPI payments. BHIM processed only 6 per cent of all UPI transactions and accounted for 23 per cent of the amount transacted in December. Increasing consumer usage of this NCPI-owned app, thus, is a challenge that Asbe will face in his new position.

Apart from this, UPI 2.0 is also in the pipeline. The service expected to have  several new specifications including an electronic mandate, which will allow customers to preauthorise transactions. It is also reported that UPI 2.0 will integrate Aadhaar and biometric authentication. The service will also integrate Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS), which will allow customers to make UPI payments. Right now, only netbanking and cards are supported for BBPS.