Here in this post, we are going to take a look at UPI, the most convenient form of the digital payment system in India and how to create and use a VPA as a virtual address for all your bank accounts.
What is VPA?
Virtual Payment Address or VPA is like an identification for your bank account on a UPI based app. Unified Payment Interface provides services to create multiple VPAs for a single account. You can even link multiple accounts to a single VPA on your smartphone. Any bank account holder with the minimum balance can transfer funds to another account holder instantaneously. One doesn’t need the beneficiary’s account number, IFSC code or anything like that. Gone are those days when you had to remember your Net banking ID and password for any cardless online transaction.
The idea behind VPA was to allow person to person account transfers straight from the banks. This service is also available 24×7 and is expected to make e-commerce transactions hassle-free.
Creating a VPA
Download any UPI based app with good reviews from the store and install it. Get into the app’s interface and create a VPA of your own choice. Probably something personal and not easily forgettable. Now this VPA is your address for any financial transactions.
Once the VPA is created, generate an MPIN for that VPA and start linking multiple bank accounts to that VPA. One person nowadays has more than one account, and so VPA also provides the feature to keep in hand every bank account you own.
Some commonly used apps for this purpose include Paytm, Phonepe, Google Pay, BHIM, etc.
After you are done creating your VPA and linking your accounts to the app and VPA, just start initiating transfers. It is actually easier than previous methods as you no longer the beneficiary’s account number, IFSC code or anything like that. Just ask for the beneficiary’s VPA, and you are good to go. Select ‘pay with VPA’, enter the beneficiary’s VPA, select the amount, enter any remark if needed, enter UPI PIN and then finally initiate the transfer. To check the status of your transaction, you can simply tap into the app’s transaction history and check if the payment actually has gone through.
UPI was introduced not only for payments but also for receiving funds from known sources. Tap into the VPA linked app and look for the option to request money. Type in the beneficiary’s VPA and enter the fund you expect from them. You can even send in a remark to further facilitate the sender to know who is requesting the amount and for what purpose. The other party have to initiate and accept the request for funds for the payment to go through.
Nothing is perfect and sometimes due to network issues your payments might not go through, but your bank may still charge you for the transaction. In that case, a refund should be initiated soon and to check the status of it all just tap into the transaction history section on the app. There you will find all the details you need for the refund. If it takes too long, you can even request a call from a customer executive.
Some Points to Remember
- You do not require the beneficiary’s bank account details like IFSC code, account number, etc. All you need is the linked VPA for the account, and you can transfer the funds as per the requirements.
- Currently, the limit for a single transaction is capped at Rs 1 lakh which should be more than enough for most people. Even ATMs do not allow one to withdraw such high funded transactions.
- UPI is a charge-less digital payment system interface. For now, it is as simple as handing over money from your wallet to someone directly.