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UPI Payments: Why You Should Check Them Out


wealthymatters

Yours truly loves a great deal. And there was a time when I cherry-picked between various banks for top quality services. So, it was credit-cards from some banks, high interest rate FDs from others, some others to hold and manage cash, a fourth to buy bonds,etc. etc. And all this was obviously not just a one-sided deal, as all these banks were happy to upgrade my account and chase me with better offers in their respective areas of strength.

Unfortunately, a couple of years back, service standards started falling and after demonetization, retail banking relationships really nose-dived. A whole lot of banks no longer felt it necessary to serve customers to make a profit but felt they could corral depositor’s money in accounts and discourage withdrawals by means of fees, limits on cash disbursed at ATMs, limits on number of free withdrawals, permanently out-of-order ATMs, increased average quarterly balances etc.

Having gone in for a great deal of automation with my personal finances, I find simply closing down bank accounts a big nuisance that involve a great deal of paperwork at various other places. So the best work-around that suggested itself to me was to use an UPI App to move my money out of the clutches of those banks that were behaving unreasonably.

So, what is UPI you ask me? It’s a way to make account to account electronic transfers. Actually, quite an old and familiar idea, a lot like PayPal, where you just need an e-mail ID to transfer money.So, don’t let the government’s vigorous digital push scare or other-wise put you off of UPI Apps, especially if you are just figuring out how smartphones work. Normally, if you had to electronically transfer money, even between your own accounts,you had to remember and perhaps key-in a lot of account related information and passwords. With UPI you don’t. And you can pick up moving round money this way really easily.

Now the next question is which UPI App? Every bank by now probably offers one. Moreover, one bank’s UPI App can be readily used to access money from another bank.

By now I’ve test driven a couple of UPI Apps. The first was the SBI Pay. This was at the time when the app was first released and my friend Sharmila wanted to know the difference between SBI Buddy and SBI Pay. And wanted my opinion on how safe they were for her daughter to use. SBI Pay felt exactly like the SBI website to use. Large, unwieldy, and slow to load. Since then I’ve also given Canara Bank’s eMPower and PNBs UPI App a try. Either of them is a better choice than SBI Pay. Finally came AxisPay.

But none of these banks gave me any compelling reason to go digital using their UPI App. And really there was no real use moving my own money between banks using these apps as I would still not be able to take out my money from the banking system without charges as they still had debit cards charges and limits on card usage firmly in place. So I’d still be sheep, doing as I was directed, to fulfil other people’s agendas of self-enrichment, all under coercion.

Its only now, 9 months after demonetization, that I see the way to regaining my position vis a vis banks . The solution is underpinned by digibank. They offer zero-balance accounts,7 % interest on savings bank balances with them, a free debit card with no limits on how many times it can be used for free per month. And most importantly they now offer a great UPI App to help me access money in my other accounts with. So literally zero costs finally to access my own money in the banking system.

Interested in how you can create such an account for yourself? Here’s the step by step procedure:

1.First get the digibank app at the App Store or Play Store

2. Open a savings bank account at digibank using the process shown here:Link

3.Proceed to create a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) for your digibank account. VPA is an identifier that takes a form of abc@dbs where “abc” is a unique name that you can choose for yourself. XXX@dbs.com is the handle that identifies the digibank app.

To do so,

Click on the ‘Register for UPI’ button

Select the identifier you want e.g. your name or pick one from the suggestions the app makes.

Then simply click on ‘Go’ and you’re done.

4.Now proceed to add your other bank accounts to the digibank UPI App like so:

Click on ‘Manage Accounts’ on the dashboard

Select ‘Link New A/c’

Select banks where your accounts are held from the list of banks. All accounts linked to your mobile number will be displayed (with only the last 4 digits showing)

Select the accounts you wish to add one by one

Set your VPAs which end with @dbs and confirm in each case

You can now:

1. Transfer funds from your linked bank accounts to digibank using UPI (Vice-versa)

2. Transfer funds from digibank to 3rd party accounts in other banks using UPI

3. Transfer funds from linked bank accounts (of other banks) to 3rd party accounts in other banks using digibank UPI.

Also, you can continue to use the other services and conveniences that drew you to these other banks in the first place. Without bowing to unreasonable behaviour. Pretty neat, na?

 

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

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