The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has urged Indians to use digital payments to reduce social contact, minimising the spread of COVID-19.

Through social media, NCPI has ran a campaign over the past few days encouraging people to make digital payments. It is also urging users to make UPI (unified payment interface) payments.

The announcement comes while India is undergoing a country-wide lockdown.

Dilip Asbe, NPCI MD & CEO, said: “In the current lockdown situation, we request citizens to stay at home. We urge all service providers of essential services and consumers to switch to digital payments methods to stay protected.

“Our business continuity plan is resilient. It has been improvised to meet the challenging requirements for COVID19, across all our payment systems. Specifically, the infrastructure will support the additional load and challenges on the United Payments Interface (UPI) platform, as more and more users are tapping into the benefits, ease and safety of digital transactions.”

United Payments Interface

UPI allows users to transfer money on a real-time basis, across multiple bank accounts without revealing details of one’s bank account to the other party.

In addition, the organisation has ensured that more and more vendors of essential services are on the digital platforms.

Asbe added: “For vendors and merchants, we have fast tracked the onboarding system on UPI or UPI-QR to make it totally contactless and fully online. Vendors do not have to compromise on self-isolation guidelines to complete this essential task.

“Vendors and merchants can be safe as they serve society and provide essential services. Consumers can use UPI to pay for essential services and transfer money digitally without the risk of physical contact.”