The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation created in 2009 to develop and operate various retail payment systems, is looking to set up an innovation centre in Hyderabad in the next three to six months. A similar centre is also being planned at the organisation’s headquarters in Mumbai and both the centres will house 20 people each. The innovation centre will work on various use cases of new-age technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence and others in the payment systems space.
NPCI, managing director and chief executive officer, Dilip Asbe said, “NPCI was set up to manage and develop the retail electronic payment systems and we have been gaining traction in various fields as digitisation has taken over the space. We are constantly trying to innovate and bring advanced features in the digital payment space. With this idea in mind, we will be looking at setting up two innovation centres in Hyderabad and Mumbai and they will work on technologies like blockchain and others.”
Asbe was interacting with startups at an event organised by Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited (BFIL) and Fintech Yatra so as to provide them a deeper understanding of the digital payments space. Other than its own centre, the NPCI is also looking at setting up a Sandbox for startups working in the financial technology (fintech) space. The initial version of Sanbox which should be up and running in the next 3-4 months will facilitate fintech startups to create their own applications using the NPCI platforms.
On the second version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Asbe said, “The UPI 2.0 should be ready by the end of 2019 and it will have features like overdraft, digital credit and capability for a person to issue a mandate to block money that can be used for e-commerce transactions. We are also betting big on the QR code facility so as to information exchange completely virtual. The objective is to internationalisation of UPI and what kind of products we can launch for the same.”