UPI transactions hit yet another record high in September spurred by COVID-19: RBI

UPI transactions have been hitting record highs almost every month. Numbers are again set to rise by December, helped by the Indian holiday season.
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The number of UPI transactions and the value of those transactions hit a record high in September as contactless payments due to COVID-19 rose, the Reserve Bank of India revealed on Thursday.

Unified Payment Interface, NPCI's flagship product, saw 1.7 billion transactions worth Rs 3.29 lakh crore in September, as per data released by the RBI, compared with Rs 2.98 lakh crore over 1.61 billion transactions in August.

Those numbers are set to rise further by December owing to the Indian holiday season which kicks off in the next few weeks.

Ecommerce platforms have seen increased traction over the last six months due to COVID-19 as more and more people started shopping online for essentials to avoid stepping outside their homes - and the increase in the number of transactions online has been the biggest contributing factor in the growth of UPI payments.

UPI has also been beating out card transactions since it is usually safer than cards and requires fewer steps to complete. However, the average ticket size of UPI transactions are lower than that of credit and debit cards – not more than Rs 200 to Rs 300 per transaction, although it is steadily gaining steam.

Despite a slowdown in the economy, and millions of job losses in the country, spending, on the whole, has slightly increased, especially on protective items like soap, gloves, masks and hand sanitisers. People have also been hoarding groceries and other essential items mostly out of fear of a sudden lockdown, considering the number of COVID-19 positive cases in India have been hitting new highs daily.

IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) transactions rose to Rs 2.48 lakh crore in September, from Rs 2.35 lakh crore in August, RBI’s data showed, while volumes rose to 27.96 crore from 24.61 crore.

UPI has also been seeing traction offline as people are choosing to pay digitally at shops in a bid to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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