RBI to introduce new functionality for UPI payments, allowing multiple debits

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced an additional function for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms that would allow multiple debits. Mr. Das was effusive in his praise for the digital payment system in his address at the conclusion of the three-day Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) meeting.

“UPI has emerged as the best payment system anywhere in the world. It has been our constant endeavor to try and deepen the reach in India. The UPI currently includes functionality to undertake recurring payments and single-block payments. It is now being enhanced to allow customers to block funds in their accounts for multiple payments of specific nature,” the Governor said.

This is expected to improve ease of making payments for online shopping and investments in securities. The RBI will introduce single-block and multiple debits functionality that will enable users to block funds in their account

Currently, the UPI AutoPay feature allows users to make recurring payments, but the merchant can make only a single debit to receive payment. With the new feature, the merchant can make multiple debits up to a permitted amount.

The governor said the feature will also be helpful in purchase of government securities using the RBI’s retail direct scheme. He added that separate instruction will be issued to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to implement the enhancement.

Meanwhile, Mr. Das also announced an expansion in the scope of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to include all payments and collections.

Right now, BBPS does not have a facility to process non-recurring payments or collection requirements of individuals even if they are recurring in nature, Mr. Das said, adding this results in professional service fee payments, education fees, tax payments, rent collections being outside the ambit of the platform.

The new system will make the BBPS platform accessible to a wider set of individuals and businesses who can benefit from the transparent and uniform payments experience, faster access to funds and improved efficiency, Mr. Das said.