Three years after its launch, India's domestic payments platform—Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has hit a landmark of one billion transactions in October. Moreover, the UPI has also crossed 100 million users, which has made it the fastest adoption of any payments system anywhere in the world. With this achievement, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which operates the UPI platform, aims to take the network globally by enabling acceptance of UPI in Singapore and the UAE.
Commenting on the achievement, Dilip Asbe, chief executive officer, NPCI said, “The UPI has had the fastest acceptance not just in payments but among other platforms as well. I have not compared the numbers but given the time taken to reach 100 million users by social media and other platforms. I am sure we should be among the top."
To put things in perspective, in August the total volume of all card transactions (debit and credit) put together was 142 crore (1.42 billion).
What is UPI?
The UPI platform was launched before demonetisation in 2016 and enables users to send money from their account to any account without entering bank details by using an email-like handle or scanning a QR code. The NPCI, which launched the Ru-Pay network, had launched this to promote digital payments by harnessing the ubiquitousness of smartphones.
While all major banks are part of the UPI network and many have proprietary apps, the open architecture of UPI enables any bank account to be accessed from any UPI app.