VPA – What is VPA, Full Form, Meaning


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There was a time when money transfer meant having to physically go to a bank and deposit money in the form of a cheque or cash into the account of the person or the firm where the money was to be transferred. Another way was to send a cheque, postal order, or demand draft. All these required visits to the bank or post office and a short wait while these payment orders were being made. 

The advent of UPI (Unified payment interface) changed all that, and suddenly money transfer has become easy and convenient as the modern face of banking. Each person applying for a UPI ID receives a unique ID. Money can be sent to a UPI ID, and the money will automatically be credited to the account to which the UPI ID is linked. This protects people’s personal details, including mobile numbers, PAN numbers, and bank account details. Each UPI ID creates a Virtual payment address (VPA), which becomes a person’s UPI ID. The VPA and UPI have become so popular that this mode is paying payments and salaries.

The unique VPA and how to create one

The VPA is the virtual address linked to a person’s bank account while not revealing the bank’s name. This is banking with just a name and an ID. Privacy is assured, and many people prefer it this way. Normally a VPA is created by default when a person creates a UPI ID, but the good part is that people can create their own individual VPA though only the first part before the ‘@’ can be changed. This cannot be changed arbitrarily. The way to change a VPA is as follows:

The user will need to go to the installed UPI app and open it. 

  • Once opened, the user will need to select the profile section. Once opened, the screen will show the UPI ID with the VPA and a QR code. There is an arrow pointing to the right of the screen, and the user will need to click or tap on the arrow.
  • A square with a plus sign appears, and there will be a legend within the square that says ‘tap to add.’
  • Once tapped, the square will ask for a preferred VPA to be typed. There will be another square on the right that says “check availability .”Users may need to try out several preferred IDs until the system detects and registers a unique VPA. 
  • Some sites offer a choice of similar types of IDs, and users can select one. 
  • Once a unique VPA ID is selected and accepted by the app, the user can tap or click on the submit button and have a new VPA address of his or her choice.

Benefits and features of UPI-based payments

Users must remember the UPI PIN that was automatically created while creating a UPI ID. The user will be prompted to key in this PIN for every transaction to confirm the user’s identity. 

There are transaction limits on the amount as well as on the number of UPI payments made in a day. Though these limits vary for different banks and service providers, the daily transaction limit is around Rs 1 lakh, and around 20 UPI transactions using the VPA address are allowed daily. 

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has introduced the Autopay facility in UPI for regular recurring payments such as EMI’s, utility bills, wifi subscriptions, school fees, and other such payments. 

Users can enter multiple accounts in their UPI ID and VPA and even select a particular bank account to make the payment from. Each time a transaction is made, the app will ask the user to select the bank account from which the payment is to be debited. 

Several apps support UPI IDs, including PayTM, Google pay, PhonePe, BHIM, and HSBC simple pay. They are so flexible that a payment can be made by scanning a QR code at any store or restaurant and making a payment. Payment can also be made to the mobile number of a person, or a firm provided the number is linked to a particular UPI ID. Payment can directly be made to a VPA. 

Users can request payment from a particular VPA, and if the other person recognizes the requesting VPA, money is credited to the person requesting the payment.

VPA is safe and convenient to use and carry. There is no need for repeated OTPs (One-time passwords), adding beneficiaries, or remembering account numbers and IDFSC codes. This scheme is also safe as the ubiquitous smartphone becomes a traveling bank cum wallet, and there is no hassle of carrying cash or keeping the short change. 

The best advantage and benefit is that there is no need to pay any transaction fees or service charges for VPA or UPI transactions.

How to make a transaction using a VPA?

In this new model of banking, a transaction can be made from any system supporting the UPI mode of payment, the VPA ID of a person or a firm needs to be typed in, and the money sent will be credited to the bank account linked to the VPA mentioned.

VPA Transaction Limit

The VPA transaction limit varies from bank to bank but varies between 10 to 20 transactions in a day. The total amount being sent through VPA also varies from bank to bank and is around Ra 1 to 2 lakhs per day.

How is VPA in a UPI unique?

VPA is unique because each ID is unique. This is the reason why a person creating a VPA ID needs to submit his or her entry for verification so that there is no duplication of any kind. VPA IDs created by default are naturally designed to be unique.

Compare and other modes of online transactions

VPA is the most convenient cashless mode of money transfer which is safe and much easier to use than the NEFT or RTGS modes of money transfer. There are no need for beneficiaries to be added and no IFSC codes and account numbers to be remembered and entered. Commonly used VPA IDs can be stored in memory and selected during money transfers. There is no need for cash at any stage, and the beneficiary can receive money without having to go anywhere. A notification will come, and the money will automatically be credited to the bank account linked with the VPA ID of the beneficiary. 

Sending money via VPA

Money can easily sent via VPA to the VPA ID of the beneficiary through any of the sites or apps hosting UPI. The sender will need to know the beneficiary’s VPA ID, type the VPA, and click on send. The sender will need to key in the UPI PIN to complete the transaction. 

Receiving money via VPA

Money can easily be received via VPA. A person or a firm can send a message mentioning the VPA ID to which people can pay money. Shops and online stores are using this method to display their QR code and VPA ID, which people can use to send money. VPA and the UPI system allow a message to be sent as proof of payment. 

Categories of VPA

VPA and VPA payments fall into the three broad categories

  • Peer2Peer (P2P) is a person-to-person transaction where 2 people can send or receive money from each other. It is a good way to make payments without any hassle. Transactions in this mode can be done by sending money to the person’s mobile number, VPA ID, or even a QR code. 
  • Peer2merchant (P2M) is a way of sending money to a form or a company that banks register as a merchant. This merchant can be anything from an online store to a bill payment facility, and individuals can pay the merchant by scanning a QR code or sending money to the registered VPA of the merchant.
  • The third category is the virtual peer-to-merchant (P2M V). In this type, there are P2M VPA’s where many individuals are linked to a merchant VPA and can send money to it. Persons can assign a VPA for UPI to receive money and can use this platform to send reminders for payment on social media platforms such as WhatsApp. 

The Ease of it all 

The UPI and VPA have made money transfers and payments so convenient that people are getting used to the idea of going cashless. All that is needed is the smartphone, and this is how banking has changed from a brick-and-mortar center to an evergrowing virtual world. This mode of banking has all the benefits and advantages.

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1. Can a person change a VPA once created?

Yes. A person can change their VPA in the same manner as created. The changed VPA will need to be submitted for approval and will become operational only when accepted.

2. Can a person create more than one VPA?

A person can create more than one UPI ID, but each UPI ID can have only one VPA. Hence each VPA is unique to a UPI ID. Multiple VPAs mean numerous UPI IDs.

3. Is international money transfer possible to a mobile number in another country by UPI?

Present NPCI regulations permit money transactions between UPI IDs within India only.

4. Will a UPI ID be valid for a bank account that is transferred?

The UPI ID linked to a bank account will continue to be valid even after the account is transferred to another city or town, provided the account number remains the same.

5. Can a message be sent through VPA about a money transaction alert?

Yes, UPI supports the sharing of a successful money transfer or payment. The sender can share the successful money transaction picture to the receiver’s mobile number as a WhatsApp or an SMS message.

6. Can the picture of a QR code on the site of a shopping site be scanned for payment by UPI?

This facility is available, and a QR code can be scanned, and the payment sent to the recipient. The successful transaction message can be sent as a form of receipt for confirmation of payment.

7. Can money sent to a UPI VPA be reversed?

The sender cannot reverse a payment made after confirming the PIN. In case of a wrong transfer, the bank account from which the transfer was made can be contacted and requested to arrange a refund. The sender can even message the recipient that a wrong transfer has been made, and some honest recipients cheerfully return the money.

8. Are there any IFSC codes that need to be entered for the bank account from or to which money is being sent?

No IFSC codes are required for money transfers through UPI to a VPA. There are some of the advantages of VPA, as no details other than the VPA ID are needed for a money transaction.

9. Does a person to whom money is to be sent by UPI require to be added as a beneficiary?

All money transfers through UPI are instantaneous and do not require ant beneficiary names to be added and registered. This is only necessary for money transfers through NEFT or RTGS.

10. Can a UPI ID exist without a linked bank account?

This is now possible where money in an app wallet can be linked to create a UPI ID where there are no linked bank accounts. Most UPI ID’s have their own wallet, and these can be sued to send money.

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