The number of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions via real time has reached 1.22 billion in November, compared to 1 billion in September. However, the value of UPI transactions for November was Rs 1.89 trillion — this is lower than the Rs 1.91-trillion announced last month.
These transactions were 6.1 per cent higher than in October, and 132 per cent higher on a year-on-year basis, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) data showed. Currently, 143 banks are live on UPI.
However, market players believe that the decline in value of transactions is not a cause for worry because October was a festive month. Mandar Agashe, founder and vice-chairman, Sarvatra Technologies, said, “Although the number of transactions has increased, value-wise the numbers are flat since it is being contrasted with the festive spending in October. However, a rise is expected once again with the New Year and Christmas celebrations around the corner. The recent news about UPI being adopted in Singapore is building its international presence, and will strengthen India’s position as a significant payments hub.”
October was a very good month for UPI because of the festive season, with transactions touching 1.15 billion for the month.
Anand Kumar Bajaj, managing director and chief executive officer, PayNearby, believes that the future of UPI is very bright. “There has been a steady rise in the volume of transactions, which clearly demonstrates the adoption of UPI services. A drastic growth will be seen once a large set of the population residing in rural areas starts using it more frequently. Enhancing awareness among retailers and end-consumers will go a long way in bringing in an exponential rise in UPI,” said Bajaj.
To push the reach of UPI further, the NPCI has collaborated with CIIE.CO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand UPI to feature phones. Right now the UPI service is limited to smartphones. Interested start-ups and innovators can apply for the programme through NPCI’s website. CIIE.CO and NPCI will shortlist the most promising solution for further support.
The winner will win a cash prize of $50,000 and run a pilot of the solution with NPCI. The second and third runner-up will win a cash prize of $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.
The winner and runner-ups will get a chance to pitch the ideas and solution to the CIIE.CO team, which will also help the participants to get in touch with investors. The winners can also get further acceleration or investment support through the Bharat Inclusion Initiative.
UPI allows users to transfer money any time, on a real-time basis, across multiple bank accounts, without revealing details of one’s bank account to the other party.