4. Unified Platforms: The first Visa/Mastercard/SWIFT-free payments system – the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) by NPCI was launched in 2016. UPI is an open-source platform designed for the mobile age that helps with easy integration of various payment platforms. UPI is powered by a single payment API and a set of supporting APIs. UPI offers a whole new model of the financial services industry ecosystem. UPI became a starting point of what SWIFT called a journey to a single payments platform. UPI is a benchmark to what the payments landscape should be moving towards given that oversaturated payments ecosystem, where too many ‘pay’s’ won’t let anyone win. Disjoint experiences across businesses create customer confusion, and, at the end, with a limited customer base, limit opportunities for every payment service provider – existing and new. Professionals from SWIFT emphasize that the payments industry must migrate from a plethora of aging and expensive systems and schemes to a single platform to process all payments. However, a single payment experience for customers (based on seamless system interoperability, comparable to mobile telephony) is a more probable future than a single payments platform.
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