A post is being shared on social media, which implies that free payment on UPI has ended and cash is the best way for transactions. Let us fact-check this claim through this article.
Claim: Charge free payments on UPI ended, and now UPI transactions will be charged.
Fact: In its recent Discussion Paper on Charges in Payment Systems, RBI asked for feedback on whether UPI payments should be charged. The Ministry of Finance later clarified that there is no consideration in Govt to levy any charges for UPI services. Hence, the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
The image in the post has a screenshot of a news headline from DNA India. Upon searching on the internet with relevant keywords, we found the article by DNA titled ‘Money may have to be paid for every UPI payment: RBI brought proposal.’ We also found few other news articles on this issue and they can be read here and here. But, no where in these articles it is mentioned that charges will now be levied on UPI transactions. These articles only state that RBI is seeking feedback on imposing charges on UPI transactions.
We then looked on the RBI’s official website for relevant evidence and found their recently released Discussion Paper on Charges in Payment Systems. According to the paper,’ This discussion paper outlines existing rules and manner of charges levied in payment systems and presents other options through which such charges could be levied. The intent is to present various issues involved in an unbiased manner and to seek feedback on a set of questions that emanate therefrom.’
Discussing the charges levied on UPI -Unified Payments Interface transactions, RBI said that ‘The Government has mandated a zero-charge framework for UPI transactions with effect from January 1, 2020’ and ‘UPI as a funds transfer system is like IMPS. Therefore, it could be argued that the charges in UPI need to be similar to charges in IMPS for fund transfer transactions. A tiered charge could be imposed based on the different amount bands.’ RBI raised the below three questions for feedback.
This document proposes bringing in charges in UPI transactions and asks for feedback on its proposal. This doesn’t mean that the RBI has passed an official order about charges on the UPI transactions.
Clarification by the Ministry of Finance
The Ministry of Finance, in its tweet, clarified that there is no consideration in the government to levy any charges for UPI services, and that the concerns of the service providers for cost recovery have to be met through other means.
To sum up, RBI has not released official order on charges related to the UPI payments. No additional charges are being levied on UPI transactions as of now that would be recovered from the consumers.