Digital payments in India: UPI transactions cross 2-billion mark in Oct

Bhim Payment Gateway
(Image credit: National Payments Corporation of India)

Confirming that India is adroitly adopting digital payment methods in the Covid-19 world, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the flagship payments platform of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has recorded over two billion transactions in October.

As per NPCI data, UPI registered 2.07 billion transactions, almost 82 per cent higher than the 1.14 billion transactions reported in the corresponding month last year. In money terms this was worth Rs 3,86, 106 crore.

UPI was launched in 2016. And it crossed 1 billion transactions in October 2019. But in a year, it has crossed the second billion, underlining the fact that digital payment methods have become popular among the Indian masses.

"BHIM UPI has managed to change the face of person-to-person and person-to-merchant money transfers in the past few years while making them safer and more secure,” NPCI said.

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The recent spurt in the use of UPI is being attributed to the surging spending during the festive sales in India.

The pandemic and the consequent fear of using physical currency has also impelled the public to fall back on UPI-enabled apps.

In India, the UPI ecosystem is dominated by Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm, as they are, in total, said to command over 95% of the market share.

Among the three, Google Pay is a big leader, it is said.

According to statistics available in the media, "Google Pay was downloaded more than 12 million times in September of which over 80% installs came from India. PhonePe, Paytm and SBI YONO’s downloads in the month were recorded at 6.9 million, 3.9 million and 3.1 million respectively."

UPI is an instant real-time payment system facilitating inter-bank transactions. There are over 174 banks live on the channel.

Other channels operated by NPCI, too, have reported spike in volumes in October.

The National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC), which powers Fastag payments at highway toll booths, reported a record 122 million transactions worth Rs 2,137 crore in October.

For the record, aside from UPI and NETC, NPCI operates systems like NACH, IMPS, AEPS, BBPS, and RuPay.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.