• National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments
and settlement systems in India, is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, for creating a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
• Considering the utility nature of the objects of NPCI, it has been incorporated as a “Not for Profit” Company under the provisions of Section 25 of Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of Companies Act 2013), with an intention to provide infrastructure to the entire Banking system in India for physical as well as electronic payment and settlement systems.
Objectives of NPCI
• To offer improved infrastructure for the entire banking industry to create a robust physical and digital payment and settlement system.
• To simplify, merge and incorporate various payment systems with varying standards of coverage into a single national standard uniform and business process for all retail money transactions.
• To design and promote an effective financing process or system that saves time and cost for individuals who make retail transactions on a daily basis.
Products & Services
• National Financial Switch (NFS) - National Financial Switch (NFS) ATM network with 37 member banks and connecting 50,000 ATMs was taken to NPCI’s authority from the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) on 14 December 2009. After taking over, NFS ATM network has grown many folds. As on 31 July 2019, there were 1,140 members with more than 2.41 lakh ATMs connected to the network.
• Unified Payments Interface (UPI) – UPI is a system that makes multiple bank accounts to be accessed from a single mobile application. Users can make instant money transfers through mobile devices round the clock, any day of the year. The technology also features peer-to-peer collect request service with a scheduling facility.
• Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) - Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) lets you transfer money in real-time around the clock, 365 days of the year. At the time of introducing IMPS, consumers only had the NEFT and RTGS facilities that were limited to the bank working hours. NPCI conducted a pilot study of the technology with banks such as SBI, BOI, UBI, and ICICI in August 2010. It was publicly launched on 22 November 2010.
• RuPay – RuPay is a new card payment system launched to satisfy RBI’s vision to offer a domestic, open-loop, and the multilateral system. This made it easier for Indian banks and financial institutions to implement electronic payments. The term ‘RuPay’ is a combination of Rupee and Payment. NPCI also developed RuPay Contactless payments technology using open standards.
• *99# - USSD based mobile banking platform that makes banking services accessible to all the bank account holders on their mobile phones.
• National Automated Clearing House (NACH) – NACH is a web-based solution that facilitates interbank, high volume electronic transactions that are repetitive in nature. They are well suited for bulk transactions towards the distribution of dividends, interest, subsidies, salary, pension, and more.
• Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) - AePS is a bank-led model that allows online interoperable financial inclusion transaction at PoS of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication through the retail merchant. A customer must provide details such as bank identification, Aadhaar number, and fingerprint to complete such a transaction.
• e-KYC - Electronic way of conducting authentic & real time KYC of a customer using Aadhaar authentication.
• Cheque Truncation System - Electronic image of the cheque is transmitted to the drawee bank by the clearing house, along with relevant information.