NPCI bans UPI channel for gaming transactions under Rs 50

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) channel, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is likely to permanently ban all gaming transactions under Rs 50.

The move is aimed at moderating volumes on UPI, where a sudden surge in transaction volumes in recent months — owing to accelerated digital adoption over the pandemic — has led to an increase in banking outages and technical declines. According to industry insiders, NPCI has in recent weeks seen a massive spike in low-ticket recurring transactions (as low as Rs 1) processed by gaming merchants.

“These transactions especially spiked during IPL matches, which has led to apprehensions among NPCI and member banks that increased transaction loads could lead to more system outages,” said one of the sources cited above as per ET.

Instead of UPI, NPCI wants customers and merchants to use standing instructions (SI) based mode of payment, such as net banking, instead of UPI, according to the source. The source also said: “The credentials of the customer, merchant and the ticket size is known beforehand. SI-based recurring channels are engineered to process such payments.”

The average ticket size of the participation in the pay-to-play format is usually as low as Rs 35 which means either the players have to pay with SI or fantasy sports and other pay-to-play platforms have to increase the price of the ticket.

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