The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on January 1 said it has constructed a composite Digital Payments Index (DPI) to capture the extent of digitisation of payments across the country. This is a significant development given the sharp pick-up in digital transactions seen in the recent past.
The RBI-DPI comprises five broad parameters that enable the measurement of deepening and penetration of digital payments in the country over different time periods. These parameters are Payment Enablers, Payment Infrastructure – Demand-side factors, Payment Infrastructure – Supply-side factors, Payment Performance and Consumer Centricity, the RBI said.
Each of these parameters has sub-parameters which, in turn, consist of various measurable indicators. The major sub-parameters under each parameter is available here. The RBI-DPI has been constructed with March 2018 as the base period, the central bank said.
DPI score for March 2018 is set at 100. The DPI for March 2019 and March 2020 work out to 153.47 and 207.84 respectively, indicating appreciable growth. Going forward, RBI-DPI will be published on the RBI’s website on a semi-annual basis from March 2021 onwards with a lag of four months, the central bank said. In February this year, the RBI had first announced the plan to launch the DPI.
The RBI and government have been pushing for digital transactions over the years to bring in more transparency and efficiency in the financial system. In that sense, the launch of DPI is a significant step.
In recent months, digital transactions have picked up significantly.
Digital transactions pick up
According to the latest RBI data, digital transactions exhibited a sustained recovery and momentum picked up in November 2020, supported by both wholesale and retail transactions.
In the retail segment, national electronic funds transfer (NEFT) transactions volume grew 24.6 percent y-o-y in November 2020, much higher than the growth (13.9 percent) recorded a month ago. The growth in the value of NEFT transactions in November 2020 (27.9 percent) was higher than that recorded in October 2020 (20.1 percent), the RBI data showed.
In value terms, UPI transactions to the tune of Rs 3.9 lakh crore happened while IMPS transactions worth Rs 2.76 lakh crore happened. Also, RTGS transactions worth Rs 79.8 lakh crore and NEFT worth Rs 22.18 lakh crore were reported, the data showed.
UPI transactions surged to approximately 2.2 billion in November 2020, maintaining momentum in both volume and value terms. Among other digital transaction modes, national electronic toll collection (NETC) held on to a buoyant growth trajectory and immediate payment service (IMPS) showed stronger growth in November 2020 than in the previous month.
In the wholesale segment, real-time gross settlement (RTGS) transactions recorded acceleration in volume terms. Recently, the RBI had made RTGS available round the clock on all days from 12.30 AM December 14.