The Unified Payments interface (UPI), the digital payment ecosystem which enables people to digitally send and receive money using their phones and a virtual private address, has seen tremendous growth in 2018.
The digital interface had received a massive push from the government after the landmark decision of demonetization was rolled out in November 2016.
Digital transactions using the UPI platform has consistently risen since then, especially in the last year. According to the latest National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) report, December 2018, has witnessed a never before acceleration, achieving, around 620.17 million transactions worth Rs 1,02,594.82 crore. This is the highest number of transactions and amount recorded since the inception of UPI back in August 2016.
In August 2016, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched the UPI as a mobile-only digital payment platform for the monetary transaction using a two-factor authentication process. Users can transfer money either by using the mobile number or the virtual payment address.
In August 2016, when it was first launched, UPI saw transactions worth Rs 3.1 crores, the amount has increased to Rs 1.02 lakh crore in December 2018. The UPI platform saw transactions worth Rs 56,670 crore during the calendar year 2017, and in August 2018 alone, the amount transacted was Rs 54,212.26 crore.
In fact, the transactions through this platform have been steadily rising month after month.
Last year in June we reported how the BHIM-UPI had hit a record of 1 crore transactions in a day. In September 2018, the monthly transactions through UPI had crossed 400 million for the first time. Further, it crossed the 500 million mark for the first time in November 2018, a 9% increase in transaction volume, compared with 482.36 million transactions worth Rs 74,978.27 crore in October. And now, December has seen an 18 per cent rise in the total volumes of transactions as compared to November 2018.
Of the total UPI transactions in November, 17.35 million amounting to Rs 7,981.82 crore took place through the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) platform.
UPI is a payment system launched by the NPCI, the umbrella organisation for all retail payments in the country, which facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on a mobile platform, without requiring any detail of the beneficiary’s bank account.
UPI happens to be a payment method which is unique to India.
Transactions through the UPI received a major stimulus after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the BHIM app on December 30 2016. In fact, last year the BHIM app had gone international, after being launched by PM Modi in Singapore.
In the last year, the monthly UPI transaction volume has gone up by more than 2,000 per cent, according to NPCI data.
Till now, there have been more than 35.5 million downloads of the BHIM app on the Android platform and around 1.7 million on the iOS platform.
Interestingly, the number of banks going live on the UPI network has also increased steadily. From 21 banks in August 2016 to 68 in December 2017, until 2018, which saw as many as 129 banks going live on the UPI network.
Last year in order to make the platform more user-friendly NPCI introduced an upgraded version of UPI, the UPI 2.0. The new features, amongst other things, included an overdraft facility, enabling the customers to link their overdraft account to the UPI.