UPI has basically become the backbone of the Indian economic infrastructure. The digital payment service is used by millions of Indians every month and is perhaps the most used online payment service in the country. With that kind of dependence on the service, when news began to circulate that UPI payments might be charged in the near future, the people who rely on the service grew concerned, and rightfully so.
Up until now, UPI has enabled free transactions from one bank account to another and has been hailed as one of the most innovative financial initiatives ever undertaken by the Indian government. In fact, UPI will soon also be launched in many other countries.
However, users grew concerned that if every transaction UPI began to be charged then it would become increasingly difficult to keep using the service. Since most users rely on the service to be cost-effective and good for micro-payments, such a move by the Indian government would have resulted in a potential loss of users.
Since a lot of online industries also heavily depend on UPI apps and their quick and easy transactions, this move might have also adversely affected the business of these dependent industries, which include the likes of e-commerce, online gaming, as well as online betting sites in India.
So is the government of India charging the users for UPI transactions?
As confirmed by the Finance Ministry of India, the government has no plans to charge money for UPI transactions. After reports of the possibility did rounds on the internet, the government was swift in confirming that users need not worry about losing the free services of UPI.
“UPI is a digital public good with immense convenience for the public and productivity gains for the economy. There is no consideration in Govt to levy any charges for UPI services. The concerns of the service providers for cost recovery have to be met through other means,” the Ministry of Finance said in a tweet on the 21st of August.
Therefore, users don’t have to worry about UPI becoming charged anytime in the near future. The government has decided to stick to its zero-charge mandate, which was applied to UPI starting in January 2020. This mandate means that neither users nor merchants have to pay any charges while using UPI.
Will UPI ever be a paid service in the future?
As of right now, the government has assured us that UPI will remain entirely free for users and merchants. In fact, the Finance Ministry has no plans of levying any charges on any of the UPI apps. So users who rely heavily on the digital payment interface can rest easy and continue to enjoy the swift and reliable services of UPI!