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The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Wednesday said that it has now permitted the Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPI wallets) to be part of the interoperable UPI ecosystem and there is no charge for customers.
Additionally, there are no charges for the bank account to bank account-based UPI payments (normal UPI payments).
"The interchange charges introduced are only applicable for the PPI merchant transactions and there is no charge to customers, NPCI said in a statement.
With this addition to UPI, the customers will have the choice of using any bank accounts, RuPay Credit card and prepaid wallets on UPI-enabled apps.
Recently, a fake WhatsApp message went viral, which said that people will have to pay a fee for online UPI transactions.
According to recent regulatory guidelines, the PPI wallets have been permitted to be part of the interoperable UPI ecosystem, according to the NPCI.
"The interoperability among PPIs via UPI will make PPIs more attractive for various use cases and ultimately increase the number of digital payment transactions," said Mihir Gandhi, Partner and Leader-Payment Transformation, PwC India.
Rajsri Rengan, India Head of Development, Banking and Payments, at FIS, said that the new interoperability guidelines for prepaid payment instruments is a significant step towards building a more inclusive and seamless digital payments ecosystem in India.
"The interoperability of digital wallets and UPI can be a game-changer for the Indian fintech industry, as it opens up new opportunities for innovation, growth, and competition," Rengan said.
As per the new rule, UPI transactions made via PPIs such as wallets, credit cards will have an interchange fee of 1.1 per cent from April 1 and customers will not be charged.
Traditionally, the most preferred method of UPI transactions is linking the Bank account in any UPI enabled app for making payments which contributes over 99.9 per cent of total UPI transactions.
"These bank account-to-account transactions continue to remain free for customers and Merchants," said the NPCI.