After having increased in terms of volume as well as value in the previous months, number of transactions made through UPI fell in March, amid social distancing measures and later a full-fledged nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19 spread.
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an RBI regulated entity, that can be used through various apps like Google Pay and PhonePe to make direct payments from one bank account to another.
According to the data, the volume of UPI transactions in March slipped to 124.68 crore from 132.57 crore in February.
The value of UPI transactions too came down to Rs 2.06 lakh crore during March, from Rs 2.23 trillion in February.
The number and value of transactions through the UPI had been constantly growing, barring marginal decline in some months.
The real impact of the lockdown on spending through UPI will be known once the transactions data for April is released.
The presently ongoing nationwide lockdown with certain concessions will end on 3 May.
The NPCI data on IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) revealed the number of transactions fell to 21.68 crore in March from 24.78 crore in the previous month. There was also a decline in the value of transactions during March to Rs 2.01 trillion from 2.14 trillion in February.
IMPS provides real-time fund transfer which offers an instant, 24X7, interbank electronic fund transfer service that could be accessed on multiple channels like Mobile, Internet, ATM, SMS, Branch and USSD (*99#).
Meanwhile, RBI data revealed that value of Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions shot up to Rs 120.47 trillion in March, up 34 percent over February. The total value of RTGS transactions in February was 89.9 trillion.
The minimum amount that needs to be remitted to use RTGS is Rs 2 lakh and is meant for large value transactions, unlike UPI or IMPS.