Value of digital transactions rose marginally in May, RBI data shows
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New Delhi: Digital transactions in May increased slightly from the previous month in terms of value, provisional data released on Tuesday by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.
The month saw total digital transactions worth Rs111.09 trillion, up 1.4% from Rs109.60 trillion in April, according to the data. The value is still the second highest after the peak recorded in March.
However, the number of digital transactions declined marginally to 851.1 million in May from 853.1 million in April. The highest volume was recorded in December at 957.5 million. Digital transactions include those conducted via credit and debit cards, unified payments interface (UPI), unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), Internet banking and mobile banking.
Transactions across UPI hit 9.2 million in April—a new record—against 6.9 million the previous month. In terms of value, there was an increase of around 26% to Rs27.7 billion in May from Rs22 billion in April. Since December, UPI transaction volumes are up about 367%.
Transactions via USSD also grew in May, both in terms of value and volume, by around 2% and 5%, respectively, from the previous month.
Transactions through UPI and USSD received a major boost from the government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app on 30 December. BHIM has already been downloaded close to 20 million times, according to Amitabh Kant, chief executive of NITI Aayog.
Usage of PPIs such as mobile wallets reached a new peak both in terms of volume and value in May. The volume of PPI transactions in May was 91.3 million, compared with 87.8 million in December, and the value of transactions recorded in May was Rs25.3 billion, compared with Rs21.3 billion in December.
Debit and credit card usage at point-of-sale (PoS) machines rose by 2.3% in May to Rs441.2 billion from Rs431.4 billion in the previous month. However, the volume of transactions declined by 2.18% as compared to the previous month.
Mobile banking transactions increased by 6.5% in May to 64.9 million from 61 million in the previous month. They had risen by 8.18% in March from February and 0.32% in April from March.
Payments using National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) rose by around 9.33% and 9%, respectively, in May from April.
“For person-to-person (P2P) transfers, UPI is evolving as the most preferred mode of payment, especially among the youth. The usage of mobile wallets might have risen as May is vacation month and most people prefer to use digital wallets as it eliminates the need to carry physical cash around,” said Dewang Neralla, chief executive of Atom Technologies Ltd, a payment services provider.