A Complete Guide to use UPI and USSD to Send and Receive Payments

Demonteization of  INR 1,000 and INR 5oo currency note has created more awareness towards digital payments. Government of India been pushing it since the day of announcement, and there are two methods which you can use now, and even in future.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) asked banks to release their UPI (Unified Payments Interface) based apps, and now there are many players in the market.

In this article, we have tried to come up with a complete guide that will help you use UPI and USSD.

What is UPI?

UPI apps are based on Immediate Payment Service technology and don’t require the user to fill details like full name, bank name, branch and IFSC code. All you need is just the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) to transfer fund. It is similar to having an email address.

UPI Based Apps Features and Requirement

In order to use UPI, you will need to use an app. It works only on smartphones, and needs internet connection unlike UUSD based payments which we will talk about post this.

Good thing is that there are tons of UPI based Apps now in play store, and if you plan to use one, here is the list of common features, followed by the requirement.

  • Make payments of utility bills such as gas, electricity, telephone, water etc., recharge your mobile and refill DTH service.
  • Send money to someone else’s bank account. Alike IMPS, UPI apps allow users to send transactions happen 24/7/365.
  • Maximum transaction limit at a time is INR 1,00,000 and minimum amount that can be transferred is INR 50 only. This may vary from bank to bank as well.

Requirements to use the UPI based apps:

  • You need to have an active bank account.
  • Your mobile number should be registered for Phone Banking, all transaction related messages and one time password.
  • You need to have a smartphone with 2G, 3G or 4G network connection.

The UPI app will get all the details from your registered phone number with the bank. You can use the UPI app without linking the bank account but in that situation you would be able to send and receive money from one wallet to another and not from/to another bank account.

How to Register for UPI with the Bank Account?

First of all you need to go to the Google Play Store and download the UPI app of your bank. You can simply type UPI in the search bar of Google Play Store and it will show you apps related to that. The name of ICICI UPI app is Pockets and the name of Canara Bank UPI app is ePower.

Step 1: One the app is installed into your phone, launch it and embed your registered mobile number to create a 4-digit security PIN. The PIN would always be required for opening the app and doing transactions.

Step 2: First time when you tap on the UPI icon which you will see on the app, it asks you to create a VPA (virtual private address) which stands for  virtual payment address. Select any of the suggested options and create the VPA for the app. A VPA could be your name or the mobile number followed by the domain name of the app (example: [email protected] for ICICI)


Step 3: Once you create the VPA and move to the next screen, you will be asked to link your bank account. Just select the bank name and automatically your details will be fetched through the mobile number.

It is important to know that if you don’t find the UPI app of your bank in the Google Play Store then you can download the app of any other bank and later on  while doing the set-up, link your bank account with the app.

For example if you have an account in ICICI and downloaded the app of Canara Bank then you can simply select ICICI from the list when it asks you to link the bank account. It is useful for those who have more than one bank accounts and have separate mobile numbers registered for them.

How to Send and Receive money using UPI?

Sending and receiving money through the UPI app is very easy but there is a condition that the recipient should also have the UPI app installed on his mobile along with the VPA.


In order to do any transaction, you need to open the app and tap on UPI icon. Since your VPA has already been created, you will go directly to the message screen where you can choose from four options (It may vary a bit depending on the app)

  • Send money
  • Collect money
  • Respond to Collect Request
  • Scan QR code

If you want to transfer fund then tap on Send money > on the next screen you will find Pay using VPA selected. Enter the amount and VPA of the recipient then tap Next > cross check the payment details and tap on Confirm, the amount will be transferred via VPA instantly.

If you want to receive payment from anyone then you need to tap on Collect money > enter the VPA of the other person and the amount, if you want to receive payment later for example after five days then tap on Schedule transaction and select duration and tap on Next > look at the details once again and tap on confirm.

After this a notification SMS will be sent to the recipient with the request for making the payment and will reflect as a Pending Transactions. He/she needs to open the app > tap on Respond to Collect Request > approve or decline the payment. If the recipient chooses to pay you then he/she needs to enter the PIN and after the submission of PIN, the transaction will be made successfully.

The fourth options available on the app is Scan QR code which can be used at a shopping mall, restaurant or a store where the UPI payments are accepted. This is similar to what you have seen with PayTM.

You need to just open the app > tap on the Scan QR code > enter amount and confirm to make the payment. It is definitely a better option then carrying a lot of cash all the time or using debit or credit card.

List of Apps you can Find for UPI

As of now, none of the Windows 10 Mobile based apps support UPI.

Bank transactions without Internet

India has around 220 million smartphone users and we get good internet connectivity in cities but there is a huge amount those people who live in rural areas and use feature phones. There should be an option for them to perform cashless transaction because the ban on INR 1000 and 500 has affected their lives as well and most of them specially farmers are running out of cash for past few days.

USSD-based mobile banking is a solution for those users who don’t use smartphones and cannot download the UPI app. In fact this service can proved to be useful for those who have smartphones too when they go out of the range of internet connectivity or their data pack gets finished.

What is USSD?

USSD stands for Unstructured Supplementary Service Data and has been developed by National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP). It is an interface between the telecom operator and your bank. Alike your regular phone calls and SMS, USSD utilizes the GSM network to transfer the information and has the ability to work with a normal black and white phone, a feature phone and a smartphone.

USSD based Payment system is called as National Unified USSD Payments.

Regional Language Support in USSD Mobile Banking

Since the service has been introduced with a mind-set to encourage people in rural areas for mobile banking, USSD service is available in 11 regional languages and can be accessed by a non-English speaker easily by using the short code. We have listed the codes for the respective languages below.

  • Hindi – *99*22#
  • Punjabi – *99*30#
  • Marathi – *99*28#
  • Gujarati  – *99*27#
  • Bengali – *99*29#
  • Oriya – *99*32#
  • Assamese – *99*31#
  • Kannada – *99*26#
  • Malayalam – *99*25#
  • Tamil –  *99*23#
  • Telugu – *99*24#

USSD Banking Daily Transaction Limit and Charges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has already made it clear that the users can send minimum amount of INR 1 and maximum of INR 5,000 per transaction through USSD service.

The service is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week at a charge of NR 0.50 per transaction which is either deducted from your SIM card balance or added to your frees. As of now this is waived off as of now till 31st December.

How to Use USSD codes?

The basic necessity for using the USSD service is having a mobile phone and a bank account. If you don’t have a bank account then please visit to the nearest bank with a Photo ID/Address proof such as Adhaar Card or Voter ID and the bank representative will help you to open an account in their branch within few minutes.

It is also necessary to register the mobile number with the bank account and in case you already have an account the mobile number is not registered then you need to fill a form on the branch of your bank and submit the request to link your account with your mobile number. After that the bank will issue a seven digit Mobile Money Identifier (MMID) number along with the MPIN which is a four digit PIN number and needs to changed by the customer after receiving it.

Once you receive the MMID and change your MPIN, you can begin with the process of using USSD codes.

To begin with the process, simply dial *99# by pressing the buttons of their phone (like we type the messages).

It will ask you type the first three letters of your bank’s name or first four letters of the bank’s IFSC code, there is another options of putting the 2 digit numeric bank code too. Example: if you account in State Bank of India then you can either type SBI as first three letters, or SBIN as the IFSC code and tap on Send.


Your account details and phone number will be verified and a sub menu will appear on the screen with multiple options such as:

1. Account Balance
2. Mini Statement
3. Send Money Using MMID
4. Send Money Using IFSC
5. Show MMID
6. Change MPIN

Type the number as per your choice and tap on Send. For Example type 1 and press send to check the account balance.


How to Transfer Money via USSD?

On the above mentioned sub menu screen you have the third option to send money via MMID, type 3 and tap Send to transfer funds via USSD.

  • It will ask you enter the mobile number of the recipient, do that and tap Send
  • On next screen, you need to enter the MMID of the recipient and tap Send
  • After that enter the amount and if you want to add remarks that separate it by putting a space between the amount and remark and tap Send
  • At the end, you need to enter your MPIN and the last four digits of your bank account (both should be separated by a space) and tap Send. Once the payment gets authorised, the amount will be transferred to the beneficiary.

Check the Video Below:

How to Send Money using USSD Code using Any Phone

Let us inform our viewers that you need to always respond the USSD notification within 10 seconds to avoid the cancellation of the transaction process. It is also possible that you may receive an error after the fifth steps stating “External Application Down”, if that happens try after some time.

About Yogesh Mankani

Yogesh Mankani is a freelance content writer from last 6 years. His passion for blogging, giving words to his ideas and thoughts is what makes him fall more in love with his profession which he takes very personally.

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