Unified Payment Interface (UPI), the flagship payments platform of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), is touching new highs every month. In August, UPI volumes touched 1.61 billion transactions worth Rs 2.98 trillion, compared to 1.49 billion transactions in July worth Rs 2.9 trillion, data released by NPCI revealed.
Digital payments transaction have rebounded from the covid19 shock and have reached pre-covid levels, despite the massive contraction in Indian economy owing to the lockdown imposed in the initial months to contain the spread of the virus.
“There is a massive adoption of UPI in offline and online segment. In the offline segment what we are seeing is, people are shunning cash and adopting UPI. And UPI is the most contactless way of making payments, hence it is gaining traction. UPI transactions will pick up further during the festive season that is around the corner. So by December UPI can reach 2 billion transactions in a month and by March 2021, it should reach 2.15 billion transactions in a month”, Ashneer Grover, CEO & Co-Founder, Bharat Pe.
Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) clocked a transaction count of 246.12 million in August worth Rs 2.35 trillion, compared to 222.21 million transaction worth Rs 2.25 trillion. Interestingly, the IMPS transactions have almost reached pre-covid level as in February, IMPS clocked 248 million transactions worth Rs 2.14 trillion.
Transactions recorded on Bharat Bill Payments Systems (BBPS) has surpassed the pre-covid levels as in August, this platform saw 21.21 million transaction worth Rs 3,748.47 crore, compared to 15 million transactions worth Rs 1,957 crore, thus indicating that consumers are increasingly preferring digital methods of paying their bills.
FasTag, though recovering from its fall in April due to the stringent lockdown imposed in the country, has not managed to rebound to pre-covid levels so far. In August, FasTag recorded 96.83 million transactions worth Rs 1,712. 58 crore. In February, it recorded a transactions count of 110.13 million worth Rs 1,841.22 crore.
Experts said, the Covid-19 pandemic has done more to digitising payments in India than what demonetisation achieved, and the digital future is here to stay. Consumers are increasingly adopting digital payment platforms because of the fear that usage of cash may result in them contracting the virus. The most encouraging thing that the pandemic has brought about is adoption of digital payments in offline mode as consumers are increasingly switching to pay via digital payment methods in grocery shops and other places where cash ruled the roost.
“Despite the economy de-growing, digital transaction has managed to increase its pie. Also, we are seeing transactions moving from the card segment to UPI and other digital payment platforms. Plus, e-commerce platforms are also contributing massively in driving up digital payment transactions, especially UPI”, Grover added.