The number of transactions recorded on India’s bellwether digital payments platform, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), in July exceeded 6 billion, reaching a record peak since the network’s launch in 2016. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has revealed data showing that UPI registered 6.28 billion payments worth Rs 10.62 trillion in July, a jump of 7% from June.
Nearly three years after its inception, UPI reached 1 billion transactions for the inaugural time in October 2019. When UPI executed more than 2 billion transactions in October 2020, the succeeding billion came along in less than a year. 3 billion transactions were handled through UPI over the following 10 months.
On Tuesday 2nd August, the Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi praised the accomplishment of 6 billion Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions in July on Twitter. “This is an outstanding accomplishment. It indicates the collective resolve of the people of India to embrace new technologies and make the economy cleaner. Digital payments were particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic,” his tweet read.
Earlier today only, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India had also quoted Business Standard in a tweet, sharing the information with the citizens of the country. It was this tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had quoted while lauding the huge achievement.
Raghuram Rajan, the governor of the Reserve Bank of India at the time, launched UPI’s pilot programme on April 11, 2016. In August of that year, banks began deploying their UPI applications. Millions of people lined up before banks to make withdrawals after the government declared the elimination of the 500 and 1,000 currency notes two months later. UPI payments began to increase while cash-strapped individuals made every effort to limit their use. In the past 2 years, the nation’s use of electronic payments has accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the exception of a few glitches during the pandemic’s first two phases, UPI payments are rising as the overall economy improves.
Within the next five years, UPI wants to be able to conduct one billion transactions daily. The RBI’s decision to permit Rupay credit cards to be linked to UPI is anticipated to significantly increase both the number and the amount of payments in the upcoming months.
“We are looking at how we can expand the market. The objective is how we can go back to the 250 million users and how the bank can start doing smaller credits. Also, we are looking at how the 50 million merchants can start accepting credit. We may have to take care of the smaller merchants and protect them from the MDR (merchant discount rate). The existing credit card servicing merchants can continue to pay,” said Dilip Asbe, the chief executive officer or NPCI, at an event on Rupay credit card and UPI linkage