The Reserve Bank of India, on January 10, said that the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) can be used for making recurring payments. With this, UPI users will be available to bypass the additional factor authentication (AFA) while making a payment to a regular merchant, as long as the amount is not more than Rs 2,000.

An industry source told MediaNama that it remains to be seen as to who would use UPI for recurring transactions because in all likelihood, uses will be restricted to utility recharges, and making small value payments. It might not be possible to use UPI to pay electricity bills on a recurring basis, especially in the summers, simply because it might exceed the current permissible limit of Rs 2,000, the source said.

The apex bank, in August 2019, had allowed only cards and Prepaid Payments Instruments (PPI) to process recurring payments. Also, in 2018, when the National Payments Corporation of India launched UPI 2.0, support for recurring payments wasn’t a part of the upgrade, owing to RBI’s reservations. What has addressed RBI’s reservations since then is yet unknown. We have reached out to RBI for more information.

RBI also said that all norms applicable for credit/debit cards and prepaid instruments offering recurring payments would be applicable for UPI transactions as well:

  • The service provider would have to notify a user 24 hours before a transaction is supposed to take place. The customer will also have to be notified as soon as a transactions has taken place.
  • A grievance redressal mechanism will also have to be put in place by the issuer bank.