Google Pay Enables Aadhaar-Based Authentication for UPI Activation Without Debit Cards: How it Works

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Google Pay is rolling out support for Aadhaar-based authentication for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) activation, the company announced on Tuesday. The popular payments app will now allow users to set up their UPI PIN without a debit card. Users who want to register for UPI on Google Pay using their Aadhaar number will need to ensure that they are signing up using the same number that is registered with both UIDAI and their bank. The company states that it does not store users’ Aadhaar numbers as part of the validation process.

According to Google, the new Aadhaar-based system is designed to authenticate users while signing up for UPI without a debit card. Users will have to provide the first six digits of their Aadhaar number in order to start the authentication process. The company says that these digits are sent to UIDAI via the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) where they are validated.

NPCI’s website states that 22 banks currently support authentication of users via Aadhaar, and Google says more banks are expected to add support for the feature “very soon”.

In order to complete the process, users will have to ensure that their bank account and Aadhaar number are linked. They will also have to sign up for UPI using the same number that is registered with their bank and UIDAI, to successfully register for UPI on Google Pay. 

An alternative method of signing up for Google Pay
Photo Credit: Google

Users will then receive one-time passwords (OTPs) from their bank and UIDAI, which will be used to complete the authentication process. Users can then set up their UPI PIN and start sending and receiving money on Google Pay. Users’ Aadhaar numbers are merely shared with NPCI and not stored by the company, according to Google.

Last month, Google rolled out UPI payments support for RuPay card holders of eight banks in the country. As per details shared by Google, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, HDFC bank, Indian Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India bank account holders would be able to link their RuPay cards with Google Pay to make UPI payments. 


Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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