Home / News / India /  UPI  transactions  more than doubled in a year to 2.7 bn

Transaction volumes over the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) more than doubled over a year, touching 2.73 billion in March 2021 compared to 1.25 billion a year ago. The March numbers are also a 20% jump from February’s 2.29 billion. Transactions value crossed 5 trillion in March, up 18% from February.

March represents a strong growth in UPI volumes, which had slowed to 1-3% growth between November 2020 and February 2021. As the pandemic set in and consumers started opting for digital payments, UPI transactions grew in double digits through the lockdown months.

The recent slowdown in growth could be attributed to rising transaction failures because of frequent technical glitches at banks, which also dethroned Google Pay as the UPI market leader.

Google Pay had registered 857.8 million transactions in October and reached a peak of 960 million transactions in November, commanding close to 43% market share in UPI payments. The platform has seen a continuous drop in transactions since. It recorded 854.4 million transactions in December, 853.5 million in January, and 827.86 million in February.

UPI market leader PhonePe also crossed a milestone during March. “We crossed a billion UPI transactions in March. Last month, the total transactions on our platforms across the payment instruments of wallet, card, and UPI that we offer stood at 1.3 billion," a PhonePe spokesperson said.

Last week, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) defined its standard operating procedure on the 30% market share cap on UPI transactions for third-party app providers such as Google Pay and PhonePe. On crossing the 30% mark, apps and their partner banks will have to stop signing up new users with immediate effect. However, NPCI stated that it may grant exemptions based on justifications provided.

Other payment instruments operated by NPCI also witnessed growth. Immediate Payment Service saw transactions rise to 363.14 million in March from close to 318.79 million in February. FASTag transactions also grew to 193.21 million in March from 158.96 million in February 2021.

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