The number of transactions made using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) overtook that of mobile-wallet transactions for the first time in September this year, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) show.
The number of transactions made using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) overtook that of mobile-wallet transactions for the first time in September this year, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) show. During September, the UPI channel recorded 406 million transactions worth Rs 59,835 crore against 324 million wallet transactions worth Rs 15,102 crore.
Launched in August 2016, UPI is a bank account-to-bank account payment feature that allows money to be transferred using details no more than a phone number. Earlier this year, NPCI launched UPI 2.0 — an upgraded version of its UPI service, which, in addition to other things, will allow users to access a digital invoice to help them view and verify a merchant’s credentials and ascertain if the invoice has come from the correct merchant. Customers can pay seamlessly once they have verified the amount and other details in the invoice.
This feature is aimed specifically at enhancing the security of person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions and also increase the adoption of UPI for such transactions. Dilip Asbe, managing director and CEO, NPCI, had told FE the update to the payments channel will push merchant payments. “This is one of the features that take care of the business aspect of UPI transactions and will help increase usage,” he said.
While NPCI does not release disaggregated data on peer-to-peer (P2P) and P2M UPI payments, it is commonly accepted that UPI growth has largely been led by P2P transactions. If the upgraded version of UPI is able to meet its stated goals, there is a possibility that more offline merchants may switch to UPI-based payments from PoS machines. Indeed, State Bank of India (SBI) and HDFC Bank have already begun to equip offline merchants with machines which enable acceptance of card payments, UPI payments as well as payments initiated through the respective banks’ wallets.
In August 2017, HDFC Bank had said it was carrying out a software upgrade of its existing base of four lakh PoS machines to convert them into such integrated payment acceptance terminals. Non-bank players such as TruPay (now acquired by TMW) and Benow have also been acquiring offline merchants for UPI payments.