ICICI Bank crosses 1 lakh VPAs on UPI in 3 weeks By STAFF REPORTER ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, has crossed the milestone of 1 lakh Virtual Payment Addresses (VPA) on ‘Unified Payments Interface’ (UPI) within three weeks of its launch. The bank is the first to do so. In a bid to further enhance the usage of UPI, the bank has also announced partnership with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) to offer UPI based payments at its retail outlets, making it the largest forthcoming deployment of in-store payments using UPI. With this, customers of any bank who have created their VPA on ‘Pockets’ as well as ICICI Bank customers using ‘iMobile’ can soon pay using their smartphone at over 6,500 HPCL petrol pumps and more than 2,000 stores of ABFRL across the country. The latter’s network includes brands like Louis Philippe, Peter England, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Planet Fashion and Linen Club among others. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said, “UPI is a path-breaking concept which will enable convenient person-to-person and merchant payments using mobile phones. It is the first time in the world that a project of such a scale is being introduced to customers. I’m delighted to share that ICICI Bank has crossed the milestone of creating 1 lakh VPAs for enabling UPI based payments, within three weeks of its launch. We have received encouraging response from users including non-ICICI Bank customers for creating their VPA using ‘Pockets’. To add to this positive momentum and widen our reach across sectors, we have also collaborated with Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited & Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited to enable users to make payments at retail outlets from their mobile phones using UPI. We intend to continue exploring more such potential partnerships which will go a long way in popularising the usage of UPI. I believe that UPI will revolutionise the landscape of electronic payments in India and go a long way in reducing the usage of cash in the economy”. A. P. Hota, MD & CEO, NPCI said, “ICICI Bank was among the front runners to launch our product UPI through app and we are glad to see such impressive acceptance in such a short span of time. Transactions on a real-time basis via mobile app has not been made possible anywhere else in the world. Considering the ease of transactions offered by UPI, in the days to come more customers will get accustomed to UPI based transactions.” UPI is available on two of the bank’s customer facing mobile banking applications – ‘Pockets’ and ‘iMobile’. Anyone, including non-ICICI Bank customers can access UPI by creating their VPA on ‘Pockets’. They can also link their bank accounts with other banks (who are also on UPI) and make payments from that account as well using their VPA on ‘Pockets’. Additionally, ICICI Bank’s customers can access UPI on ‘iMobile’.