UPI transactions surpass 2-billion mark in October on festive boost

Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the flagship payments platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), recorded over two billion transactions in October, a milestone that highlights the faster adoption of digital payments in a post-Covid-19 world.

The transactions, which had crossed the one-billion mark in the first 15 days of the month, amounted to Rs 3.86 trillion in October.

The NPCI data shows UPI registered 2.07 billion transactions, almost 82 per cent higher than the 1.14 billion transactions reported in the corresponding month last year.

Launched in 2016, it had crossed 1 billion transactions for the first time in October 2019. While it took UPI three years to reach a billion transactions in a month, the next billion came in just a year.

UPI has rebounded sharply from its fall in April, when it recorded 0.99 billion transactions as the pandemic-induced lockdown forced people to cut spending. Since then, transactions have more than doubled, despite the economy witnessing a contraction in the first quarter.

Experts believe e-commerce platforms have contributed to this, especially in the festive season.

“As businesses open up, we are noticing a huge uptake in UPI payments as an increasing number of customers opt for digital payments, owing to convenience and safety. With the festive season in full bloom, October has seen a huge surge in UPI payments. UPI is set to create new records in the times to come as it gains larger acceptance in our country,” said Ashneer Grover, CEO & Co-founder of BharatPe.

Many suggest transactions are now moving away from the card segment to UPI and other digital payment platforms.
According to industry insiders, UPI has been growing in the P2P and person-to-merchant segments.

Since June, UPI has been recording new highs every month, with the pandemic helping accelerate its adoption. However, UPI is fundamentally for low ticket size transactions, with the average ticket size not more than Rs 200-300. Credit cards still have higher transaction payment value.

Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) has also touched an all-time high in terms of transactions and their value. In October, IMPS clocked almost 319 million transactions worth Rs 2.74 trillion. In the corresponding period last year, IMPS had reported 236 million transactions worth Rs 2.12 trillion.

On the other hand, Bharat Bill Payment System recorded 23.72 million transactions worth Rs 3,961 crore in October. And, FASTag saw transaction count increase to 122.36 million, up almost 300 per cent from last year.

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