Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the flagship digital payment platform, touched a new high in March and crossed the ₹5 lakh crore mark in terms of value.
Data released by the National Payments Corporation of India on Thursday revealed that UPI processed payments worth ₹5.04 lakh crore in March this year, totalling 273 crore transactions in terms of volume.
Previously in February, UPI had processed payments amounting to ₹4.25 lakh crore through 229 crore transactions.
According to the government’s DigiDhan dashboard, BHIM UPI has emerged as the most popular means of digital payments amounting to 38.77 per cent of all such payments in 2020-21.
Launched in 2016, UPI had crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore milestone in December 2018 and then crossed ₹2 lakh crore in payments in terms of value in December 2019.
While UPI along with other digital payments was impacted in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 led lockdown, it quickly recovered and has seen rapid growth in the last fiscal amidst the need for social distancing and concerns over infection from currency notes. The March numbers come amidst signs of improving economic recovery and higher spending by people.
Meanwhile, transactions on the Immediate Payment Service also continued to grow robustly in March 2021. IMPS clocked 36.31 crore transactions in March amounting to ₹3.27 lakh crore. It had processed 31.87 lakh transactions worth ₹2.75 lakh crore in February.
Significantly, with the deadline for e-mandates for recurring transactions looming up, transactions on Bharat BillPay also showed a sharp jump.
In March, Bharat BillPay processed 3.52 crore transactions worth ₹5,195.76 crore. In contrast, it had processed 2.82 crore transactions amounting to ₹4,222.37 crore in February.
“Your recurring bill payments are now sorted with Bharat BillPay,” NPCI said in a tweet.
The Reserve Bank of India had on March 31 announced a six month extension for banks and payment companies to comply with the norms for e-mandates for recurring transactions.
Similarly, payments through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System soared to 7.78 crore in volume and amounted to ₹22,697.82 crore in value terms in March. AePS had processed 6.66 crore transactions worth ₹18,661.65 crore in February this year.
Transactions through NETC FASTags also showed a massive rise in March at 19.32 crore in terms of volume over 15.89 crore in February. In terms of value, payments totalled ₹3,086.32 crore in March versus ₹2,556.34 crore in February.