With UPI & IMPS services, NPCI leads retail payments space growth in FY19

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is leading the retail payments growth in the country with its offerings like United Payments Interface (UPI) and Immediate Payment Service (IMPS). While the central bank manages the largest share of payments in terms of value, NPCI holds most of the payments volume and increasingly so.

UPI saw a growth of 349 per cent in volume and 452 per cent in value during FY18-19 reaching a volume of nearly 800 million and value of over Rs 1.3 lakh crore in March 2019, as per NPCI data.

Wallets saw a growth of 43 per cent in volume and 58 per cent in value in March 2019 over the previous year, according to latest data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Cards, excluding ATM transactions, saw a growth of 28 per cent in both volume and value during the year.

While NPCI operated IMPS saw a growth of around 70 per cent in both value and volume during FY19, RBI operated NEFT  saw a growth of 14 per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value in March 2019 over March 2018.  The Real time gross settlement(RTGS) , operated by the central bank, saw a growth of eight per cent in volume and 20 per cent during the same period.

However in absolute numbers, NPCI’s offerings have a long way to catch up with those managed by RBI. The monthly volumes of NEFT and RTGS are over 20-100 times that of IMPS and UPI.  

The RBI, in January, put out a policy paper that pondered the need for more retail payment system operators since NPCI is the sole umbrella organisation for most retail payments currently. This was with a view to avoid concentration risk in the payments industry.

While RBI operated NEFT had a share of 60 per cent in value of transactions in FY17-18, NPCI had processed nearly half of the total volume of retail payments in October 2018, said the paper.

The NPCI, benefits from both government and regulatory support while other payment modes such as wallets had to face hurdles such as stricter Know-your-customer laws while card networks were forced to comply with the RBI’s data localisation guidelines. New retail payments players could help further India’s digitisation drive but will also need adequate government and regulatory support, say experts. 

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