New Delhi: Around 965 million digital transactions were recorded in October, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

It’s the highest total for a month since the 8 November 2016 demonetisation that caused a cash crunch, which forced consumers to turn to cashless payments.

The second highest volume was recorded in December at 957.5 million. The number of digital transactions rose around 10% to 965 million in October from 877 million in September, according to provisional data released late on Tuesday by RBI.

The value of digital transactions, however, fell by around 8% to Rs114.5 trillion in October from Rs124.7 trillion in September.

Digital transactions include those made through credit and debit cards, the unified payments interface (UPI), unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) and internet banking.

Transactions across UPI reached a new peak in October. The transaction volume was 76.8 million, up 150% from 30.8 million in the previous month.

The value of transactions rose around 33% to Rs7,028 crore in October from Rs5,293 crore in September. Since December, UPI transaction volume has risen more than 38-fold, according to RBI data.

UPI is a payments system launched by National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) that facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring any details of the beneficiary’s bank account.

Transactions through UPI received a major stimulus from the government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app on 30 December.

Until now, there have been more than 19 million downloads of the Bhim app on the Android platform and around 1 million downloads on the iOS platform. According to NPCI, around 7.6 million transactions took place on the Bhim app in October.

According to NPCI, 5 million UPI transactions were recorded on Tuesday itself, a record. “5m in one day. At this growth rate, BHIM-UPI should overtake all debit card transactions in India by March. Historic!," Infosys Ltd co-founder and chairman Nandan Nilekani tweeted on Wednesday.

Also, usage of PPIs such as mobile wallets hit a new record both in terms of the value and volume of transactions. Transactions worth 3,269 crore were recorded in October against ,759 crore in the previous month. The volume of PPI transactions increased by 10% to 96.2 million in October from 87.5 million in September. The provisional data considers transactions on PPIs issued by eight non-bank issuers for goods and services transactions only.

Debit and credit card usage at point-of-sale (PoS) machines increased both in terms of value and volume. The transaction volume was 255.7 million, up 6.4% from 240.3 million in the previous month. The value of transactions rose around 11% to Rs53,052 crore in October from Rs47,818crore in September. Card transactions of four banks have been considered by RBI.

Payments using National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) increased by around 1% and 4%, respectively, in October from the preceding month.

There has been a significant increase of around 50% in the volume of mobile banking transactions to 131 million in October from around 86 million in September. RBI does not consider mobile banking in the total volume & value of electronic payment systems.

“October being a festive month has brought in a lot of traction especially from tier 2 and tier 3 cities and beyond. All our modes of payments have seen a major spike just a few days before Diwali," said Dewang Neralla, chief executive officer, Atom Technologies Ltd, a payment service provider.

“Another reason that could be attributed to the spike is the growing understanding of the public about the benefits of digital payments and increasingly easier modes of payments like BHIM and Bharat QR," added Neralla.