Payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) hit an all-time high of 1.34 billion transactions worth Rs 2.62 trillion in June according to data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The previous high was recorded in February this year with 1.32 billion transactions worth Rs 2.22 trillion.
Sequentially, the number of transactions grew at 9 percent from 1.23 billion in May, and the value of transactions rose 18 percent from Rs 2.18 trillion. From a year ago, payments grew 78 percent from Rs 1.46 trillion in June 2019.
After the nationwide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic in India, UPI transactions fell sharply to 999 million in April, but recovery was observed in May when the government allowed phase-wise re-opening of the economy.
It is likely that an increase in contactless payment methods adopted amid the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 may have pushed the number of transactions to a new high. Since non-essential commodities were permitted to be sold after the second half of May, transactions on e-commerce websites, a convenient mode of purchase amid a pandemic, picked up.
Apart from consumers and online sellers, small business owners including restaurants, salons and other service-based businesses have also adopted e-payments to maintain social distance.
People are also paying monthly utility bills online.
However, transactions through Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS), which allows online interoperable financial inclusion transaction at Micro ATMs through business correspondents of banks, fell to 397 million in June from 405 million in May.