After constantly rising for the past several months, the volume, as well as value, of transactions through UPI payment system dropped in March due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus infection. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an RBI regulated entity.
UPI is built over the IMPS infrastructure and allows one to instantly transfer money to any bank account.
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 lakh crore in February.
The number and value of transactions through the UPI had been constantly growing, barring marginal decline in some months.
The 21-lockdown imposed by the government with effect from March 25 to fight coronavirus seems to have adversely impacted the transactions through UPI.
The real impact, however, will be known once the transactions data for April is known.
The lockdown has been extended till May 3, though with some concessions.
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 lakh crore from 2.14 lakh crore 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#).
The 24X7 IMPS empowers customers to transfer money instantly through banks and RBI authorised Prepaid Payment Instrument Issuers (PPI) across India through mobile phone, internet banking and ATM.
Meanwhile, an RBI data revealed that value of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions shot up to Rs 120.47 lakh crore in March, up 34 per cent over February. The total value of RTGS transactions in February was 89.9 lakh crore.