The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched the Inter-Bank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS), a payments platform created in collaboration with member banks, which now allows merchants to be paid as well. IMPS initially enabled bank customers to make payments instantly via mobile phones but the service is expanding. Currently, 50 banks in India are part of the IMPS person-to-person (P2P) service.
IMPS now allows mobile banking customers to make payments to merchants or enterprises via their handset, using the value added service called IMPS Merchant Payments. Banks currently enabled on the IMPS Merchant Payments service include State Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HSBC Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank. Banks in the process of getting joining the system are: Axis Bank, Yes Bank, Federal Bank, Dombivli Nagari Sahakari Bank, and Greater Bombay Bank; all of whom are expected to go live before year end.
Using IMPS Merchant Payments, merchants can receive payments from customers through various channels. For example, IMPS can be integrated with a merchant’s website. Merchants can integrate IMPS with their mobile application or mobile site, and offer anytime, anywhere service to customers. Major merchants are contemplating offering services on mobile applications that offer convenience to customers, and widen the reach of the functionality. In addition, merchants can integrate a payment facility with their call centre through interactive voice response (IVR), so that customers can place orders and make payments using IMPS vocally.
Commenting on the launch, Shri Hota, managing director and chief executive of the NPCI, said: “IMPS Merchant Payments further enhances the value that IMPS offers as one-of-a-kind instant, 24x7, interoperable payment system in the country. Merchants can use IMPS to receive payments from customers conveniently, safely, anytime, anywhere. With over 600 million active mobile subscribers in India, and over 10 million merchants in the country, there is immense potential for a product like IMPS to dramatically improve the payment system.”