The options of cashless payment in India


Photo Courtesy: NITI Aayog


To ease the digital payments and paving the way for a cashless economy, Government of India has taken multiple steps. It has delegated NITI Aayog to implement digital payments systems and create awareness campaigns to popularize the different modes of digital payment which are currently available.

As part of promoting cashless transactions and converting India into less-cash society, various modes of digital payments are available.

Some digital payment systems you should know are:

1. Payment through Bank Cards (Debit, RuPay, Prepaid or Credit Cards)

Banking cards offer consumers more security, convenience, and control than any other payment method. The wide variety of cards available – including credit, debit and prepaid – offers enormous flexibility, as well. These cards provide 2-factor authentication for secure payments e.g secure PIN and OTP. RuPay, Visa, MasterCard are some of the examples of card payment systems. More info

2. *99# a National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP) for mobile which has no Internet.

The innovative payment service *99# works on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel. This service allows mobile banking transactions using basic feature mobile phone, there is no need to have mobile internet data facility for using USSD based mobile banking. It is envisioned to provide financial deepening and inclusion of underbanked society in the mainstream banking services. More info

3. Unified Payment Interface (UPI) App

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.

Each Bank provides its own UPI App for Android, Windows and iOS mobile platform(s). More info

4. Aadhar Enabled Payment System (AEPS)

AEPS is a bank led model which allows online interoperable financial transaction at PoS (Point of Sale / Micro ATM) through the Business Correspondent (BC)/Bank Mitra of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication. More Info

5. Mobile Wallet or e-Wallet

A mobile wallet is a way to carry cash in digital format.

You can link your credit card or debit card information in mobile device to mobile wallet application or you can transfer money online to mobile wallet.

Instead of using your physical plastic card to make purchases, you can pay with your smartphone, tablet, or smart watch. An individual’s account is required to be linked to the digital wallet to load money in it.

Most banks have their e-wallets and some private companies. e.g. Paytm, Freecharge, Mobikwik, Oxigen, mRupee, Airtel Money, Jio Money, SBI Buddy, itz Cash, Citrus Pay, Vodafone M-Pesa, Axis Bank Lime, ICICI Pockets, SpeedPay etc. More info

6. Bank Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards work on the theme of pay now and use at your convenience, very similar to prepaid mobile phone cards.

All you have to do is buy a card, load it with the desired amount and the card is ready to be used. You do not require any account to use these cards.

Prepaid cards are convenient alternatives to cash and cheques.

The biggest advantage of a prepaid card is that customers can make purchase transactions without incurring any debts and paying huge interests. Also, there is always the limit that has to be adhered to, as purchases have to be made only up to the amount available in the prepaid card. More info

7. Point of Sales

A point of sale (PoS) is the place where sales are made.

On a macro level, a PoS may be a mall, a market or a city.

On a micro level, retailers consider a PoS to be the area where a customer completes a transaction, such as a checkout counter. It is also known as a point of purchase. More info

8. Internet Banking

Internet banking, also known as online banking, e-banking or virtual banking, is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank or other financial institution to conduct a range of financial transactions through the financial institution’s website by logging in using user id and password.

Some helpful transactions in Internet banking are National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Electronic Clearing System (ECS) and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). More info

9. Mobile Banking

Mobile banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution that allows its customers to conduct different types of financial transactions remotely using a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet.

It uses software, usually called an app, provided by the banks or financial institution for the purpose. Each Bank provides its own mobile banking App for Android, Windows and iOS mobile platform(s).

10. Micro ATMs

Micro ATM meant to be a device that is used by a million Business Correspondents (BC) to deliver basic banking services.

The platform will enable Business Correspondents (who could be a local Kirana shop owner and will act as ‘micro ATM’) to conduct instant transactions. More info

To learn more about these payment systems:



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