The Reserve Bank of India’s data show the volume of digital banking transactions, on channels such as mobiles and credit and debit cards, has fallen steadily between December last year and March this year. The value of transactions, however, has risen slightly in this period.
There was a spurt in digital transactions after November 8 last year, when the government demonetised the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. In December, the first full month after demonetisation, the total number of transactions through credit and debit cards, e-wallets, mobile banking and unified payments interface (UPI), increased to 471 million. Last month, it fell to 382 million. The total value of digital transactions increased 2 per cent in this period. For mobile banking, the total value of transactions was up at Rs 1.5 lakh crore in March. In December it was about Rs 1.37 lakh crore.
Transactions through plastic money jumped sharply from 205 million in November last year to 311 million in December. It fell to 225.7 million in March this year. For card transactions, the value has also fallen: In December last year, it was Rs 52,224 crore; last month, it fell to Rs 41,062 crore. UPI transactions gained traction only in 2017. Between December 2016 and March 2017, it has risen from Rs 700 crore to Rs 2,391 crore. The trend was similar for prepaid payment instruments, such as e-wallets: In December, it was Rs 2,125 crore; in March, it was Rs 2,148 crore. Compared to mobile and card transactions, their volume and value are very small. Transactions through e-banking routes such as NEFT and RTGS rose 66 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, in March, over February.