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NPCI urges India to use digital payments to prevent Covid-19 spread

The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella body of all kinds of digital payments, has urged Indians to use digital payments to reduce social contact and a chance of transmission of novel Coronavirus or Covid19.

The Government-backed NPCI, along with banks and ecosystem partners, has been running a campaign over the past few days on social media platforms asking people to make contactless payments and more importantly make UPI (unified payment interface) payments even as India gears for a 21-days of lockdown. UPI is NPCI’s flagship product that allows users to transfer money on a real-time basis, across multiple bank accounts without revealing details of one’s bank account to the other party.

“In the current lock-down situation, we request citizens to stay at home. We urge all service providers of essential services and consumers to switch to digital payment methods to stay protected,” said Dilip Asbe, NPCI MD & CEO.

“Our business continuity plan is resilient and has been improvised to meet the challenging requirements for COVID19, across all our payment systems. Specifically, the infrastructure will support the additional load and challenges on the United Payments Interface (UPI) platform, as more and more users are tapping into the benefits, ease and safety of digital transactions,”  Asbe added.

NPCI and the other State governments are ensuring that more and more vendors of essential services are on the digital platforms. “For vendors and merchants, we have fast-tracked the onboarding system on UPI or UPI-QR to make it totally contactless and fully online. Vendors do not have to compromise on self-isolation guidelines to complete this essential task. Vendors and merchants can be safe as they serve society and provide essential services. Consumers can use UPI to pay for essential services and transfer money digitally without the risk of physical contact,” he said.

Digital payments are likely to gain popularity even after the current crisis as people are likely to maintain social distancing for a really long time. Experts also believe that the dependency on cash will become less in the coming months that would also give rise to several other modes of contactless payments ensuring a high amount of security.

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