India has registered 1.34 billion transactions on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for 28 days in July, amounting to Rs 2,58,244 crore, according to a report released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Likely to reach a tally of 1.48 billion transactions by the end of July, this month’s figures are set to outdo June’s record numbers, which witnessed 1,336.93 million transactions amounting to Rs 2,62,835 crore, the central bank said.
The development comes months after the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) owned digital payments interface witnessed a sharp drop in numbers to 999 million during the Covid-19 induced lockdown in April. May, on the other hand, saw a 24% increase in transaction volume to 1.23 billion from a month ago, as per NPCI data.
Interestingly, the increase in UPI transactions this month is said to have come on the back of Covid-19, driven by people’s fear of contracting the virus. Instead of swiping debit cards or credit cards, consumers seem to have opted for UPI payments to buy groceries, medicines and electronics.
Additionally, there has been a sharp spike in the number of peer-to-merchant transactions for July, primarily performed through PhonePay, GooglePay and Paytm, followed by Amazon Pay and Bharat Pe, the report said, without specifying numbers.
To encourage the adoption of digital payments, RBI reportedly set up a committee in December 2019, to study the awareness, scalability, interoperability, innovation and security of the QR code payments system. The panel criticised the government over the zero merchant discount rate (MDR) decision for QR code, UPI and Rupay debit card transactions, claiming that it would negatively impact the digital payments systems.