The value of debit card transactions at point-of-sale (PoS) machines rose by more than 165% between April 2016 and February 2017, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed. According to representative data sourced from four banks, PoS transactions worth R39,147 crore took place in February, up from R14,754 crore for all banks in April.
If representative data available for the first 12 days of March were to be extrapolated for the entire month, the figure would stand at about R39,396 crore, marking a growth of 167% from the beginning of FY17.The actual figures for February and March could be higher as they will capture transactions made across all the banks.
In FY16, aggregate debit card transaction values had grown 23.6% over FY15.The growth in PoS transactions this year had much to do with the government’s surprise move to demonetise nearly 86% of the currency in circulation on November 8. Transaction values peaked at R58,031 crore in December before slipping to R49,004 crore in January.
The trend suggests that a temporary cash crunch led people to adopt digital modes of payments. The switch turned out to be shortlived, as consumers went back to cash as the central bank began to ease limits on cash withdrawals.
Nevertheless, transaction values so far have remained at levels higher than those before demonetisation.
The other winner among digital modes of payment in FY17 was mobile banking, which saw transaction values jump 108% between April and February to R1,08,000 crore. Here again, the February data is representative, being sourced from five banks, while the April figure accounts for transactions made across the banking system.
Extrapolating representative data available for the first 12 days of March, the value of mobile banking transactions works out to about R1,49,910 crore, 188% higher than the corresponding value for April. This is also slightly higher than the peak December value of R1,49,818 crore.
FY16 had recorded a 74.4% rise in mobile banking transaction values over FY15.Mobile banking includes transactions made over the RTGS, NEFT and IMPS channels.