To curb fake or artificial transactions in order to get cashbacks, NPCI has taken a serious action and decided to halt this practice on its payments platform UPI.
From August 1, payments transfer within same account or UPI ID (where the payer and the payee account are actually the same) will be blocked by the umbrella organisation for all digital payments in India.
According to an ET report, the payments regulator has issued a circular and strictly prohibiting those transactions from the aforementioned date to avoid unnecessary load on the system.
The circular further added that NPCI had asked payment service providers and banks to block such transactions at their end.
NPCI also explained that these transactions are being done between same UPI accounts or in some case from the UPI ID to the account number, but the underlying account remains the same and thirdly by sending money to another UPI ID but connected to the same bank account.
At a time when digital payments platforms are fighting to gain highest UPI share, the crackdown from the digital payments watchdog will affect their number of transactions.
The prime reason behind the clampdown is to stop those customers who do multiple transactions within their account to get cashback offers lured by UPI-led digital payments platforms such as BHIM, Paytm, PhonePe, Mobikwik, Freecharge and others.
Additionally, this will reduce failure rates of payments on UPI platform due to low-value and repeated transactions.
The development comes on the heels of NPCI’s recent circular to remove Aadhaar-based payments functionality through UPI and IMPS. It had asked all partner banks to remove the 12 digit biometric as a payments option from their platform.
Of late, cashbacks and incentives have been become a bone of contention for the aforementioned digital payments players. Some of them have even questioned each other strategy to lure customers and show a high number of transactions.
While Mobikwik targeted government-run BHIM to offer cashbacks only to their own customers or BHIM UPI-enabled bank apps, Flipkart-owned PhonePe had earlier questioned Paytm’s UPI transaction numbers.
Following Mobikwik’s criticism, the government withdrew incentive offers on BHIM.
The move may discourage customers who get cashbacks and incentives by doing multiple transactions directly or indirectly influenced by digital payments players but it will definitely help the government to control unnecessary transactions and false claims made by these companies.