The bank also said it has become the first in India to have 1 lakh registered virtual payment addresses under the platform.
UPI, or unified payment interface, is a standard created by the National Payments Corporation of India to uniformize the mobile payments and transfers platforms in the country. A total of 21 banks have been brought onto the platform so far, including ICICI Bank’s rival Axis Bank.
“Customers of any bank who have created their VPA on ‘Pockets’ as well as ICICI Bank customers using ‘iMobile’ can soon pay using their smartphone at over 6,500 HPCL petrol pumps and more than 2,000 stores of ABFRL across the country. The latter’s network includes brands like Louis Philippe, Peter England, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Planet Fashion and Linen Club among others,” the bank said.
“We intend to continue exploring more such potential partnerships which will go a long way in popularising the usage of the platform.”
This makes ICICI Bank the second in India to aggressively tie-up with merchant establishments for enabling UPI payments. Earlier this month, Yes Bank said it had tied up with several merchants for facilitating payments using the platform.
According to the documentation of the project, it would be possible for the merchant or outlet to key in the customer’s phone number on his machine. The customer will then get a notification on his or her mobile asking for approval to process the payment. The customer has to input a secret code number to approve the transaction.
ICICI’ UPI is available on two of the bank’s customer facing mobile banking applications – ‘Pockets’ and ‘iMobile’. Anyone, including non-ICICI Bank customers can access UPI by creating their VPA on ‘Pockets’.
They can also link their bank accounts with other banks (who are also on UPI) and make payments from that account as well using their VPA on ‘Pockets’. Additionally, ICICI Bank’s customers can access UPI on ‘iMobile’.
The VPA acts as a financial address for a user in lieu of their 16 digit bank account number and the 11 digit IFSC code.
Once registered for VPA, bank account holders (of banks participating in UPI) can send and receive money from their smartphones without the need to enter bank account information or net banking user id and password. Users can make payments using UPI 24×7 on all days including bank holidays.
They can also make payments to merchants from their mobile phones where UPI is accepted as a payment mode.
Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank said, “UPI is a path-breaking concept which will enable convenient person-to-person and merchant payments using mobile phones. It is the first time in the world that a project of such a scale is being introduced to customers.”
I’m delighted to share that ICICI Bank has crossed the milestone of creating 1 lakh VPAs for enabling UPI based payments, within three weeks of its launch.”