Financial Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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NPCI launches UPI 2.0 with overdraft facility

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched UPI 2.0, an upgraded and renwed version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by adding four new features to make it attractive and safer for users. These new features will allow users to link their overdraft account to UPI, creation of one-time mandates and pre-authorisation of transactions for payment at later date and checking the invoice sent by merchant prior to making payment.

Unified Payments Interface (UPI)

UPI is payments system that allows multiple bank accounts belonging to any participating bank to be controlled via single mobile app. It was launched by NPCI in April 2016 to allows easy, quick and hassle free money transfer between any two parties. The UPI app merges a number of banking features, facilitating seamless and secure fund transfer and merchant payments at single platform. It also allows Peer to Peer collection request.

UPI is a payment system much like existing NEFT, RTGS, IMPS etc. but it is far more sophisticated and standardized across banks. Technically, UPI is standard set of APIs (Application programming interface). UPI allows us to pay directly from bank account to different merchants without putting details of card details, net banking, IFSC code, wallet password etc. Since, it is standardized across banks, transaction through is hassle free. The transactions which can be done using UPI include Merchant payments, remittances, bill payments and so on.

Four additional services in UPI 2.0 are

Overdraft facility: It will allow users to link their overdraft (OD) account to UPI. Earlier, only current accounts and savings accounts were able to linked with UPI. It will help UPI customers have instant transaction through an additional digital channel with access to OD account.

One Time Mandate: It allows users to schedule payments. It also allows pre-authorisation of transaction in which amount will be deducted on date for which has been scheduled. It can be used in cases where money is to be transferred later while commitment has been made now.

Invoice in The Inbox: It allows users to get invoices sent by merchants in their inbox, which will help them to view and verify credentials. With this, users can view and verify credentials of merchant even before making payment and ensure their authenticity.

Signed Intent and QR: This feature will allow users to check credentials of merchants via Quick Response (QR) code. It will enable to check whether merchant is UPI verified or not.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India. It is being promoted the Reserve Bank of India. It was founded in 2008 as a not-for-profit organisation registered under section 25 of the Companies Act, 2013. It has successfully played pioneering role in development of a domestic card payment network called RuPay, reducing the dependency on international card schemes.

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GPI Tracker system: SWIFT broadens payment tracking capabilities

The SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System) platform has expanded its GPI (Global Payment Innovation) Tracker system to help banks track their global transactions at all times and keep full vigil on payments activity.

Key Facts

From November 2018, GPI Tracker system i.e. unique end-to-end transaction reference will be included in all payment instructions carried between all 11,000 customers on SWIFT at all times, across more than 200 countries and territories. The expansion of GPI Tracker will cover all payment instructions sent across the network and give them full visibility over all their payments activity. It will significantly extend transparency and  drive more banks to join service to make GPI the new normal in cross-border payments


SWFIT GPI was launched in May 2017 to help banks to track their global transactions at all times, keeping full vigil on payments activity. It covers all payment instructions sent across network, enabling GPI banks to track all their SWIFT payment instructions at all times, and giving them full visibility over all their payments activity. It accounts for 10% of cross border payment traffic on SWIFT network and has enabled more than hundred billion dollars to be transferred across world rapidly and securely every day.


  • It improves customer experience by increasing speed, transparency and automatically provides status updates to all GPI banks involved in any GPI payment chain. It allows banks to confirm when payment has been completed.
  • It facilitates more accurate reconciliation of payments and invoices, optimises liquidity with improved cash forecasts and reduces exposure to Foreign exchange risk, with same-day processing of funds in beneficiaries’ time zones.

SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System) platform

SWIFT is global financial messaging service that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in secure, standardized and reliable environment. It is used to transmit messages relating to cross border financial transactions.

It was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in La Hulpe, Belgium. It is a cooperative society under Belgian law owned by its member financial institutions with offices around the world. Globally over 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries use services of SWIFT.

SWIFT does not facilitate funds transfer, rather, it sends payment orders, that must be settled by correspondent accounts that institutions have with each other. On receiving this message through SWIFT, banks abroad, mostly branches of domestic banks abroad provide funds to the company.

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