NEW DELHI : Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based transactions witnessed a slight dip, clocking 781.79 million transactions in April, National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) data showed on Tuesday. The transactions for April were worth 1.42 trillion.

According to the NPCI data, transaction volumes witnessed 2.2% decline in April compared with March, which recorded a high of 799.54 million transactions worth 1.33 trillion—a significant jump from the 93,000 transactions in August, 2016, when it was launched.

On a year-on-year basis, UPI-based payments witnessed a 4.1 times, or 311%, increase. Currently, 144 banks are live on UPI, compared with 21 banks at the time of its launch.

The near 800 million transactions in March can be attributed to the rise in activity in the run up to the financial year-end, when typically monetary transactions increase, Vivek Belgavi, partner, PwC India, said.

“Despite a slight dip in the volume of transactions in April, the interesting trend to note is that the value per transaction has risen and has been showing a constant increase. This means that people are using UPI for larger value transactions, and these learnings will help in fine tuning UPIuse cases," he added.

UPI is a real-time payments system that allows users to transfer money across multiple bank accounts, without putting out details of the beneficiary’s bank account. The payments system was developed by the NPCI, which is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in the country, set up under the guidance of the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

While the pilot was launched in April, 2016, banks started uploading their UPI-enabled apps four months later. UPI gained momentum after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the UPI-based, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, in December, 2016, soon after he announced the massive currency culling exercise to scrap 500 and 1,000 notes in November, 2016.

In April, number of BHIM-based UPI transactions grew a little over 1% month-on-month to reach 15.15 million, which was worth 6,583.58 crore.

BHIM-based transactions has witnessed a downtrend since January. While there has been a sustained uptrend in the number of transactions since its launch, it fell from 13.98 million in January to 12.83 million in February.

There were 17.06 million transactions worth 7,589.19 crore in December.

The government has been trying to promote digital modes of payment, post demonetisation. In January, the RBI had constituted a high-level committee headed by former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani to further deepen digital payments in India. The panel is expected to submit its report by the end of this month.

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