The Finance Ministry published a clarification regarding the notion that UPI services would be charged after the RBI report. The ministry said the government has no plans to charge for UPI services. They said that, in fact, the government has announced financial support for the digital payments ecosystem.
Currently, no fee is charged for transactions done through UPI.
“UPI is a digital public good with immense convenience for the public & 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 said in a statement on its official Twitter handle.
In a later tweet, the finance ministry said the government had provided financial support to the digital payments ecosystem last year and announced the same this year.
Speculation about UPI intensified last week when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a discussion paper on “Charges in Payment Systems”. Among other things, the paper asked for public opinion on charging a small fee for transacting on UPI.
The RBI stated, “In any economic activity, including payment systems, there does not seem to be any justification for a free service, unless there is an element of public good and dedication of the infrastructure for the welfare of the nation. But who should bear the cost of setting up and operating such an infrastructure, is a moot point.”
It also said in its rationale for prescribing charges that it is important “to ensure that payment services are priced in a manner that retains incentives for both users to access the services and service providers to offer them.”
According to the latest data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), India recorded 628 Cr UPI transactions worth INR 10.63 Lakh Cr.