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UPI clocks its highest monthly volume with 1.5 billion transactions in July


Mumbai: In what can be seen as the surest sign of Indians adopting mobile-based digital payments over cash during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at 1.49 billion transactions has recorded the highest volume in July for the second consecutive month.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) operated channel had seen 1.34 billion transactions worth Rs.2.61 lakh crore processed in June. The value of transactions at Rs.2.90 lakh crore in July is also a record, latest data released by NPCI on Saturday showed.

The ‘V-shaped’ rebound comes on the back of steep fall seen in the months of March and April during the nationwide lockdown when the popular instant payment service had lost nearly 25% of transaction volumes from the pre-covid-19 months.

Experts have attributed the increasing adoption of digital payments during the pandemic as a sign of a pandemic-induced payment behavior change among consumers.

The rising count of digital payments comes amid aggressive campaigning by NPCI, banks, the Reserve Bank of India and the Indian government asking users to adopt ‘contactless’ payment modes from cash.

Meanwhile, transaction volumes recorded on most retail payment channels operated by NPCI have either surpassed or inching back to pre-covid-19 levels, the data showed.

Transactions recorded on National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) which powers FasTag payments at highways also continued its recovery in July from June, the NPCI data showed.

A total of 87 million transactions worth Rs.1623 crore, was processed in June up almost eight times from April when just 10 million transactions worth Rs.247 crore was processed.

The recovery in electronic toll volumes is significant as it indicates a return of road traffic and intercity commute. For comparison, February had seen a record 110 million Fastag transactions worth Rs.1843 crore.

Similarly, BBPS channel has also seen increased transaction as customers are now increasingly getting comfortable paying their bills online.

Continuing the trend from June, BBPS too recorded a highest ever 20.16 million transactions worth Rs.3707 crore processed on its platform in July. This is nearly 25% more transactions than 14.92 million transactions worth Rs.1957 processed on the platform in February before the pandemic.

Separately, IMPS used for instant bank to bank fund transfer between accounts also saw volumes surge to 222 million transactions worth Rs.2.25 lakh crore in July, the data showed. IMPS count in June was at 199 million worth Rs.2.06 lakh crore.

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