The number of transactions over National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI’s) Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has seen a sharp increase. From about 287,000 transactions in November, they reached about 719,000 in the first 15 days of December—according to data published on the Reserve Bank of India’s website. The value of these transactions also spiked in December.
For instance, between 1 December and 15 December, the amount transacted through UPI was Rs220.9 crore, compared to Rs90.5 crore in November. This is the first set of UPI data published by the central bank.
The number speak
The surge in number of transactions and value can be attributed to: demonetisation, increase in the number of banks joining UPI, and more people trying it out.
“The growth in transaction volumes for UPI has been due to the demonetisation measures announced last month and two large banks, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank, joining the platform. There is also greater awareness about UPI, which is helping the transaction volume. As the focus of the government is on transforming India into a less-cash society, we expect the growth trend to continue. Also, more banks will become a part of this service in the time to come,” said A.P. Hota, managing director and chief executive officer, NPCI.
More people have also started testing for merchant transactions.
“Compared with November, more banks have joined UPI. Besides using UPI for person-to-person transactions, individuals have started testing UPI for person-to-merchant transactions too. Also, the number of registered virtual payment addresses (VPAs) has increased,” said Madhivanan Balakrishnan, chief technology and digital officer, ICICI Bank Ltd. The bank has registered over 1 million VPAs.
Good to know
UPI is one of the newest digital payment options available in the market. As of now, over 32 banks are live with UPI. To start using this platform, you need to have a bank account with one of the UPI member banks, a smartphone to download the UPI-enabled app and a registered mobile number with your bank. Once you download the app, you can create a VPA—it can be in the format of name@bankname. Once created, you can start sending and receiving money. Currently, there is no charge for UPI transactions. As it runs on the immediate payment service (IMPS) platform, you can use it 24x7.