Unified Payments Interface, or UPI as it is popularly known, recorded over 4 billion transactions in October, a new all-time high for the payment’s platform since its inception, driven by the festive season. In value terms, the payments platform saw transactions worth Rs 7.71 trillion in October, a record high.
UPI had logged 3.65 billion transactions worth Rs 650 crore in September. On a month-on-month basis, UPI recorded a 15 per cent jump in volume of transactions and 18.5 per cent increase in value of transactions in October. And, on a year–on–year basis, the volume of transactions more than doubled and the value of transactions also recorded a near 100 per cent jump.
Launched in 2016, UPI has seen tremendous adoption, further accelerated by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. It crossed 1 billion transactions for the first time in October 2019. The next 1 billion transactions came in under a year. In October 2020, UPI processed more than 2 billion transactions for the first time. Further, the journey from 2 billion transactions a month to 3 billion was traversed in 10 months, indicating the incredible popularity of UPI as a platform for retail digital payments among consumers.
It took only 3 months for the payments platform to reach 4 billion transactions per month from 3 billion, highlighting the massive adoption of digital payments in the country in the last 18 months or so. Starting from July, UPI logged over 3 billion transactions per month for three consecutive months. And, given the economy is seeing revival and with the festive season buzz, UPI was expected to touch 4 billion transactions a month soon.
Recently, NPCI’s CEO Dilip Asbe had said that UPI transactions this year may touch 40-42 billion compared to 22 billion transactions last year. So far in the calendar year, UPI has processed 29.94 billion transactions, worth almost Rs 57.71 trillion. Further, NPCI is looking at $1 trillion worth of transactions through UPI on an annual basis
Asbe had said the ‘AutoPay’ feature of UPI, which allows recurring payments of upto Rs 5,000 will serve as the next big use case to fuel the next level of growth in UPI. “The customer is fully in control of his mandate 24*7*365 in terms of add, delete, etc” Dilip Asbe had said speaking to Business Standard.
Another popular payment platform, Immediate Payments Service (IMPS) has also touched an all-time high both in terms of volume and value of transactions. In October, IMPS recorded 430.67 million transactions, worth Rs 3.70 trillion. In September, it had recorded 384.88 million transactions in September amounting to Rs 3.24 trillion.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the per transaction limit for IMPS transactions from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Market participants are of the opinion that this will further boost the already burgeoning digital payments ecosystem in the country.
IMPS is a payment platform that offers instant domestic funds transfer facility 24x7 through various channels such as internet banking, mobile banking apps, bank branches, ATMs, SMSes, and IVRS (interactive voice response).
IMPS started with a Rs 5 lakh limit but the limit was reduced to Rs 2 lakh because of delayed settlement on the next day as the beneficiary bank would suffer float loss. Now that there are multiple IMPS settlements in a day, RBI’s move will help people using NEFT for transactions over Rs 2 lakh, move to IMPS because NEFT transactions still take half an hour, experts said.
While largely P2P transactions were taking place on IMPS the increase in limit may result in a lot of B2B payments gaining speed too.
Even toll collection through FASTag recorded an all-time high of 214.23 million transactions in October amounting to Rs 3,356.74 crore, up 10.7 per cent on a month – on – month basis in volume terms and 11 per cent in value terms. In September, it recorded 193.6 million transactions worth Rs 3,000 crore, while in August it had recorded 201.2 million transactions worth Rs 3,076.56 crore.