Post-demonetisation point of sale transactions value falls, UPI growth slows too

By: |
Mumbai | Published: February 16, 2017 5:17:49 AM

The value of transactions made through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channels continued to rise in the first 12 days of February,

 (Reuters)At Rs16.76 crore, the USSD channel reported a growth of 29.6% month-on-month. Again, the momentum was a lot slower than 259% rise seen between December and January. (Reuters)

The value of transactions made through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channels continued to rise in the first 12 days of February, albeit on the low base of the corresponding period in January. The value of transactions at point-of-sale (PoS) machines, however, saw a 16% decline in this time.

The UPI channel reported transactions worth Rs 835.13 crore, up 37% over the corresponding period in January. The growth was significantly slower than 134.5% clocked between December and January.

However, the UPI channel continued to eat into the space occupied by mobile wallets. Transactions made through prepaid instruments, or wallets, dropped 4.6% from the month-ago period to R802.71 crore during the first 12 days of February.

At Rs16.76 crore, the USSD channel reported a growth of 29.6% month-on-month. Again, the momentum was a lot slower than 259% rise seen between December and January.

The aggregate value of credit and debit card transactions, at Rs 16,775.67 crore, was lower than the Rs 20,000.51 crore reported in January, representative data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.

The data on PoS transactions is sourced from four banks. This is a continuation of a trend observed in January, when the value of PoS transactions fell 25% from their peak in December.

The decline has been in line with the RBI’s decision to gradually ease limits on cash withdrawals starting January, and suggests that a section of consumers may have gone back to using cash after a brief stint with digital payments amid a demonetisation-induced cash crunch.

From February 28, the weekly limits for withdrawals from savings accounts will be raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 24,000 and freed up completely on March 13. All mobile banking transactions dropped 19.6% by value to R41,300.82 crore during the period under review.

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