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UPI AutoPay sees 28.34% rise in recurring mandates, shows data

Records over 4 mn mandate registrations in October, as against 3 mn in September

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Mandate registration refers to the transaction wherein the consumer creates a recurring mandate for payments

At a time when recurring payments through cards saw huge disruptions because of the transition to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) new guidelines on e-mandates, UPI AutoPay saw massive traction, with mandate registration recording impressive growth in October.

According to National Payment Corporation of India’s (NPCI) data, in October, the volume of mandates registered by remitter banks touched 4.03 million, a 28.34 per cent jump over September. In September, remitter banks registered 3.14 million mandates on the platform. Similarly, in August, 1.77 million autopay mandates were registered.

“Subscription services had to comply with the RBI’s rules and, traditionally, they would have just been on cards or on bank accounts. Now, a lot of these subscription services are migrating to UPI,” Praveena Rai, chief operating officer of NPCI, said to a television network (ETNow). “In fact, a number of international periodicals are facing problems with respect to India users… we are looking forward to a lot of them migrating to the UPI AutoPay platform,” she said.

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She said mandate registrations were increasing by the day. “Merchants who face some problems getting their customers enabled on subscription services, this is the right time to get enabled on UPI,” she added.

Mandate registration refers to the transaction wherein the consumer creates a recurring mandate for payments. Launched last year, UPI AutoPay enables customers to set up recurring e-mandates using any UPI application for payments like mobile and electricity bills, EMIs, entertainment/OTT subscriptions, insurance, and mutual funds, among others, up to Rs 5,000.

The RBI came out with new guidelines on e-mandates for recurring payments back in 2019. It said processing of recurring transactions, domestic or cross-border, that did not comply with the new framework cannot continue beyond March 31, which was later pushed to September 30.

However, despite ample time being given, the stakeholders in the ecosystem were not fully ready when the new guidelines kicked in, resulting in many standing instructions not going through. In this backdrop, UPI AutoPay has emerged as an alternative to card-based recurring transactions and, increasingly, merchants are going live on this platform.

The AutoPay platform is also being touted as the pillar for UPI’s next phase of growth. “AutoPay, which allows recurring payments of up to Rs 5,000, will serve as the big use case to fuel the next level of growth in UPI,” Dilip Asbe, NPCI’s CEO had earlier told Business Standard.

UPI recorded over 4 billion transactions in October, a new record for the platform, driven by the festive season and in value terms, the payments platform saw transactions worth Rs 7.71 trillion, or over $100 billion, for the first time in a month.