Recently, I signed up for a RuPay credit card from a leading private sector bank. I already had a couple of credit cards, but I still signed up more out of curiosity and excitement than anything else. UPI is ubiquitous now and I didn’t want to be left behind in understanding how credit card payments work on UPI. At present, you cannot use Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit cards for UPI payments. Hence, my only option was to sign up for a new RuPay credit card.
You can call it the fear of missing out (FOMO) on this brilliant and indigenously built piece of fintech but I must say I am not disappointed by my decision.
Once you link a RuPay credit card with a UPI app, your phone becomes an even more powerful wallet. For instance, without this RuPay card, I could use UPI apps such as GPay and Paytm only for debit transactions from my bank account. However, after linking the RuPay card with these apps, I can also use these apps for credit card transactions. I need not present/carry my credit card for physical/offline transactions.
UPI Payments from RuPay Credit Cards: Where You Can Use and Where You Can’t
- You can only make UPI payments (from RuPay credit cards) to those merchants who accept UPI payments from credit cards.
- You cannot use your RuPay credit card for peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer. So, you can’t transfer money to your friends or family using this credit card.
- You can’t use your RuPay credit card to transfer money to your bank account either.
- P2PM transactions are also not permitted. P2PM includes small merchants with monthly inward payment flow of less than Rs 50,000. This will prevent many small shopkeepers from accepting UPI payments from RuPay credit cards. Not that they will mind because credit card UPI payments will take a cut from their revenues.
As I understand, the merchants need to sign up to accept credit card UPI payments. Additionally, not every merchant is eligible. Hence, to figure out where credit card UPI payments will be accepted, there is a fair bit of discovery process involved.
You can certainly expect bigger establishments/merchant to accept credit card UPI payments. For smaller merchants, you will have to scan the QR code first and you will know. If you find the RuPay credit card in the list of payment options, the merchant accepts credit card UPI payments or else you must pay from your bank account.
How to Make UPI Payments Using RuPay Credit Card?
#1 Merchant Payments after Scanning QR Codes
This is the most convenient part and the biggest value addition due to credit card-UPI linkage. You do not have to take out or even carry your credit card if you want to pay using your credit card. You can pay in 3 simple steps.
- Scan the UPI QR code from the UPI app.
- Select the RuPay credit card from the list of payment options.
- Enter the UPI PIN and the payment is done. No need to enter anything else (CVV, card expiry dates, or OTP)
Note that this method will work only for merchant payments. As mentioned above, this will not work for P2P or P2PM payments. Some small merchants/shopkeepers may also be accepting payments into their savings account. Credit card UPI payments will not work in such cases too.
Another big benefit of credit card UPI payments is that it reduces the fraud risk for physical transactions. With my limited understanding of technology, the chances of fraud (skimming, cloning) are lower since you are not even presenting your credit card for swipe. You are just scanning the QR from your UPI app. Yes, tap-and-pay provides you with this comfort too but there is a cap of Rs 5,000 per transaction on tap-and-pay payments. With RuPay credit cards and UPI, you can make much bigger payments.
#2 Online Payments
Just like any other credit card, you can use your RuPay credit cards to make payments online. Entering credit card details, expiry dates, CVV, and OTP. Or if the card is already tokenized and stored in the application, you simply have to enter CVV and OTP to make the payment.
But we are talking about UPI payments here. Aren’t we?
So, if you are keen to make payment using UPI rails, you can select your preferred UPI app at the time of check out, select the RuPay credit card among the list of payment options and enter the UPI PIN. And that’s it.
You can enter the UPI address of the RuPay credit card at the time of checkout. You will get an SMS and notification in the UPI app for UPI collect request. You can approve the payment by entering the UPI PIN.
#3 Offline Merchant Payments
If you are not keen on using UPI for payments, you can swipe your credit card or use Tap-and-pay for offline payments.
RuPay Credit Cards and UPI: A Word of Caution
While I sing praises about the convenience of using RuPay credit cards for UPI payments, a credit card is still a credit card and can harm your financial well-being, if not used responsibly.
When you don’t have to pay right away, there is a tendency to spend more. More than you should, or you would have if you didn’t have a credit card.
UPI QR codes are now ubiquitous. Way more than credit card swipe machines. Every merchant, big or small, now displays a UPI QR code. Until now, you could use a credit card only if the merchant/shopkeeper had a swipe machine. And not all merchants had swipe machines, for several reasons. Cost, convenience of cash, and commissions. However, everyone has UPI QR codes. Hence, while not all merchants will accept credit card UPI payments, you will still have a far greater opportunity to use a credit card. And this can backfire.
With UPI linkage, you can use Paytm/GPay/PhonePe to spend money you don’t have. Clearly, you carry behavioural risk when you use credit cards. While I have signed up for the RuPay credit card and consider myself financially responsible, I have this fear too.
You might want to pay from your RuPay credit card to earn reward points or cashbacks. However, if combining the power of credit and the convenience of UPI makes you spend more, the cost will outweigh the benefits. Hence, don’t rush to sign up for a RuPay credit card just to make UPI payments.
Think this through. Trust your judgement.