Gone are the days when only “Roti, Kapda, Makaan” everyone considered necessities. In the 21st century, one can add smartphones to the list of essentials, primarily when they are used more and more for money transactions and payments, at least in India.
There are various online money transfers and payment methods like NEFT, RTGS, net banking, and many more. But from the past few years, the one method which has seen a tremendous increase in its usage and popularity is UPI. A recent data analysis says that in March 2022, UPI processed 5.04 billion transactions. But, What is UPI? Are there any apps available to make UPI Payments? Let’s get to know about them in this article.
What is UPI?
UPI is an acronym for Unified Payments Interface, a service launched in 2016 by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It aims to grant the masses an easy solution for making online funds, transfers, and payments. Moreover, with advancements in technology through the UPI mode, providing your bank details like account number, IFSC code, and others aren’t necessary.
Following are some benefits of using UPI over other modes of payment —
- UPI allows effortless money transfers from one bank account to another in real-time and even from the hinterland.
- After linking your bank account, a single app can manage all the transactions.
- All transactions are void of extra processing fees.
- A mandatory UPI pin safeguards every single transaction.
UPI, an open-source API, enables several third parties like Google, Paytm, and Amazon to develop their apps offering payment facilities. To use UPI, you only need an active bank account and a smartphone with internet connectivity.
Best UPI Apps in India 2022
Even Before UPI became popular, Paytm was one of the first apps to start the revolution for cashless transactions in India. Earlier, Paytm transfers were done between Paytm wallets; it was a cashless and fast mode of money transfer but wasn’t a direct bank-to-bank transfer. However, since the addition of UPI into its app, Paytm allows linking bank accounts and making UPI Payments from within the app itself.
Paytm also offers other services like movie ticket booking, metro card recharge, mobile phone recharge, flight booking, buying gold, paying e-challan, and many more. It also offers the facility of automatic payments for credit cards, DTH connections, and more.
If its UI doesn’t bother you, Paytm surely be the right choice for those looking for an app that does it all along with UPI transactions.
PhonePe is Undoubtedly one of the best apps available for UPI payments in India. It provides numerous cashback rewards and has a monthly user base of over 350 million.
You can quickly transfer money from your bank account to your PhonePe wallet and vice versa using your UPI ID. PhonePe also lets you check your bank balance and transaction history.
Like Paytm, PhonePe also facilitates bill payments, mobile recharges, and more. It also allows users to purchase or renew their vehicle and health insurance plans.
3. Google Pay
Google Pay, commonly known as GPay, is undoubtedly the most popular UPI app in India. Google Pay is one of the best UPI apps available in India, thanks to its intuitive nature and a fantabulous cashback reward system.
You can also use Google pay in regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, and others, making it more localized for the Indian market.
Google Pay has one of the most straightforward user interfaces compared to other UPI apps. However, according to many users, Google pay has a slower transaction processing rate than other apps. Also, Google Pay is said to have a relatively high transaction failure rate compared to other apps on the list. So, keep note of that before making payments.
4. Amazon Pay
Amazon was founded in 2007 and is one of India’s most significant e-commerce players. Its services like Prime Video and Prime Music are popular among the Indian audience. Amazon entered the UPI space by launching Amazon Pay in 2019.
Customers can use their Amazon Pay UPI ID to shop and make payments for their everyday needs, including recharges and bill payments, without entering their bank credentials. Every transaction is secured through mobile device verification as well as UPI PIN.
Developed by NPCI, BHIM was the first Indian application to start the UPI mode of payment back in 2016. Although having a dull user interface compared to other apps on the list, you can undoubtedly rely on it for contactless payments just as much.
The app also provides a simplified list of utility bills you can pay, including electricity bills, life insurance, and many more. BHIM app is very effortless to use compared to the rest of the apps mentioned in this list.
You can also add multiple bank accounts registered on the same number for UPI Payments. BHIM also uses UPI’s security mechanism for payments, making it equally secure.
6. Samsung Pay
Albeit not as popular as other apps on the list, Samsung Pay is an exclusive trump card for Samsung Galaxy device owners. It comes pre-installed and is quite literally a swipe away from the home screen.
Samsung Pay’s delightful rewards program grants points for every successful transaction of ₹50 or more. You can later redeem these points for virtual gift cards from ventures like KFC, Domino’s, Myntra, and many more.
It, too, offers facilities like bill payments for electricity, DTH, landline services, and whatnot. Furthermore, it allows linking bank cards for MST payments, Paytm wallet, COVID vaccination certificates, and more.
Download: Samsung Pay for Android
7. WhatsApp Pay
Surprisingly, India’s most popular messenger app had a sluggish start in the UPI segment and has already lost market share to bigger rivals like PhonePe And Google Pay. However, WhatsApp Pay is still a worthy choice to consider.
You can transfer funds to both your saved and unsaved contacts using WhatsApp Pay. The contact’s UPI ID is all that’s needed for the transfer, and the same can be done for an unsaved contact by scanning their QR code.
However, WhatsApp’s primary focus remains peer-to-peer payments. It’s great if you want to send money to your family, friends, and other contacts, but its usability remains limited. It doesn’t provide features like bill payments, recharges, and ticket bookings for buses, trains, and more, which other apps do.
The Best UPI Payments App For You
Honestly, there’s no best app because each one has certain advantages. If you want an app that does everything from Shopping to bill payments to ticket booking alongside UPI payments, then Paytm and Amazon Pay are good options. If you want a very Simple UI and cashback rewards, Google Pay might be a better option.
PhonePe creates a good balance by bringing the features of Paytm and a simple user interface like Google Pay. If you own a Samsung Galaxy device, Samsung Pay might be an excellent option for you, as many stores accept Samsung pay as a mode of payment.