The Modi government’s push towards digital or contactless payments in the past few years have led to a significant spurt in both volume and value of transactions. The number of such transactions including RTGS, credit transfers such as UPI, NEFT, AePS, IMPS etc, debit transfer and direct debits, card payments and prepaid payment instruments has grown 135.4 per cent from 1,459.02 crore in FY18 to 3,434.55 crore in FY20. The amount also increased 18.4 per cent from Rs 1369.86 lakh crore to Rs 1,623.05 lakh crore during the said period, showed the latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
UPI payment volume stood highest in FY20 at 1251.86 crore up from 91.52 crore among all digital payment channels followed by card payments which increased from 474.86 crore to 730.12 crore and prepaid payment instruments that went up from 345.91 crore to 533.18 crore during the said period. In value terms, RTGS transactions had majority share of Rs 1,311.56 lakh crore in FY20 from Rs 1,167.12 lakh crore in FY18 while NEFT transactions increased from Rs 172.22 lakh crore to Rs 229.45 lakh crore during the said period. UPI transactions value went up from Rs 1.09 lakh crore to Rs 21.31 lakh crore. Amount of card payments registered growth from Rs 9.19 lakh crore to Rs 15.35 lakh crore from FY18 to FY20.
Covid-19 has further accelerated the growth of digital payments has consumer have started exploring and enhancing usage of electronic payments amid safety concerns around usage of currency notes and coins that might act as carrier of Covid-19 virus. “There was an overall dip in digital payments in April and May 2020 as compared to March 2020 due to imposition of lockdown as a measure the contain the spread of the pandemic. Thereafter digital payments have witnessed an increase with unlock since June 2020,” said Sanjay Dhotre, MoS for Electronics and IT in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha last month.
The volume of digital payments in 2020 decreased from 435.88 crore in January to 306.47 in April before picking up to 329.22 crore in May and 412.14 crore in June. In July it again declined to 396.48 crore only to recover marginally to 400.82 crore, according to the data shared by Dhotre.