With 9% growth, UPI transactions cross 500-million mark in November

Since its inception on April 11, 2016, the UPI has had exponential growth
Transactions through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the flagship payments platform in the country, crossed 500 million in November, according to the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Growth in the number of transactions, however, was only 9 per cent over the previous month. In October, the volume of transactions through the UPI was 482.36 million. 

The value of the UPI transactions in November stood at Rs 822.32 billion, against Rs 749.78 billion in October, a rise of 10 per cent.

For other modes of transactions, both mobile wallets and cards fell slightly in volume and value in September over August, according to the latest set of data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

UPI volume had grown 32 per cent and value had grown 18 per cent in the same period. The data for the other modes of transaction is available only till September.

Since its inception on April 11, 2016, the UPI has had exponential growth. But, multiple factors could have contributed to its slowdown in recent months.

At the end of October, the NPCI reduced the number of peer-to-peer transfers allowed through the UPI network in a day to 10, from the earlier limit of 20. The NPCI said this would “encourage genuine transactions in the UPI ecosystem”. In August, the NPCI had blocked transactions where the payer and the payee accounts were the same.

There might, however, be stronger growth for the UPI in the future, with the government launching the 2.0 version. This targets merchant payments. The RBI has also announced that wallets would soon be inter-operable through the UPI, which is expected to greatly boost both it and digital payments.

The government’s UPI app, Bharat Interface for Money or BHIM, saw transaction volume of 17.35 million and value of Rs 79.81 billion in November. BHIM has seen a declining share in the UPI transactions, with competition from private players.

While local players such as Paytm and Phonepe had previously taken over the mammoth share of the BHIM app, recent times have seen these players face stiff competition from global biggies such as Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay. Google and WhatsApp submitted compliance plans to the RBI for its data-localisation guidelines. However, media reports said the NPCI was also looking into the compliance status of these companies.

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