UPI Apps Must Take User Consent For Collecting Location Data: NPCI Guidelines


The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has mandated all UPI-based apps to receive the user’s consent before capturing their location.

It also said the option to enable or revoke the consent to share the location should also be mandatorily provided for the app to the users.

“If the customer has already given consent to share the location to the UPI apps initially while availing the services, and then subsequently wants to revoke the consent, the same should also be permitted without denying the UPI services to the customer. Apps should continue to provide the UPI services even after the customer has revoked the consent for sharing the location/ geographical details for the app,” the NPCI said in a statement dated July 5.

It added that for all cases wherein the customer has given consent to capture the location/ geographical details to the app, the same should be correctly passed to UPI. Sending of incorrect location coordinates in such cases will attract strict action from the NPCI.

“If the customer does not give the consent/ not intending to share the location/ geographical details to the UPI apps, then app shall not deny/ disable the UPI services,” it said adding that the guidelines shall be applicable where the customer (payer) is a person/ individual who is initiating transactions and will be applicable to domestic UPI transactions only.

These rules must be followed by all members by December 1, 2022, and they only apply to domestic UPI transactions between individuals.

“Unified payments interface (UPI) provides a set of standard APIs (application program interfaces) to facilitate real-time online payments predominately for both person-to-person and person-to-merchant. The relevant field which the members are required to pass/ populate based on the nature of the transactions is prescribed as part of standard API message specifications,” the NPCI said.

Meanwhile, after success in the domestic market, the NPCI also plans to take the UPI to the overseas markets, according to a recent Bloomberg report quoting NPCI International Payments CEO Ritesh Shukla. It will be a home-grown alternative to SWIFT, which is a Belgium-based cross-border payment system operator.

“We have displaced cash in India to a large extent and are now looking to repeat the success in cross-border corridors. Overseas Indians can use our rails to remit money inwards straightway into their bank accounts, and for the markets where Indians travel frequently, we will build acceptance for our instruments,” Shukla said, according to the report. He also said the remittances market, where it costs $13 on average to send $200 across borders, is ripe for disruption.

UPI has become the most inclusive mode of payment in India with over 26 crore unique users and 5 crore merchants on the platform. In May 2022 alone, about 594 crore transactions amounting to Rs 10.4 lakh crore were processed through UPI.