UPI volumes just below 1 billion mark in FY18

Most modes of retail digital payments grew in volumes between August and September, with credit and debit cards and prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), or wallets, being the laggards, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). (Image: Reuters)
Most modes of retail digital payments grew in volumes between August and September, with credit and debit cards and prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), or wallets, being the laggards, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). (Image: Reuters)

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) closed FY18 with a transaction volumes a little less than one billion-mark – at 913.5 million, showed data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The value of transactions did cross the Rs 1-lakh crore mark, settling at Rs 1.09 lakh crore for the full year. The volume of UPI transactions rose about four per cent month-on-month (m-o-m) to 178.05 million in March. The value of UPI transactions grew 26.4 per cent m-o-m to Rs 24,172.6 crore.

The exponential growth of UPI has led experts to say that transactions made through the channel may soon be of the order of one billion in a single month. Nandan Nilekani, former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman, recently said, “We have seen that all the major platforms are now coming on to UPI. There’s Paytm, there’s PhonePe, there’s Google, there’s WhatsApp and so you’re seeing a dramatic shift in the way payments is being done. My own estimate is that UPI transactions by December will hit one billion, making it the largest digital payment system in India and by far ahead of anything else.”

The volume of transactions made using the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app rose 21 per cent m-o-m to 11.95 million, while their value rose 20.6 per cent to Rs 4,839.65 crore. In March, BHIM clawed back some of the ground lost to other UPI apps in recent months. Its share in the overall UPI app rose a full 100 basis points (bps) between February and March to 6.7 per cent.

December 2017 had seen BHIM’s share shrink to six per cent from eight per cent in November as payments player Paytm introduced the payment mode on its platform. During the three months to November, BHIM’s contribution to UPI volumes slipped to eight per cent from 45 per cent as Google India entered the UPI fray with its Tez app, loaded with cashbacks and other freebies.

Launched on December 31, 2016, BHIM was developed by the NPCI to popularise its UPI channel, which had been languishing since its launch in August 2016. It consistently accounted for 45 per cent of all UPI transactions by volume for much of 2016. That changed with the launch of Google India’s Tez app in September, which used cashbacks and other freebies to garner a large number of users soon after launch.

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