State Bank of India (SBI) has cornered the maximum share of Unified Payments Interface -based transactions for the first four months of 2020, data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shows.
A staggering 1.3 billion UPI transactions originated from SBI in the first four months of 2020. Origination means customers have used an SBI bank account to make these payments. The payment may have been done through the SBI app or any other third party app like Google Pay.
In the same four months, Axis Bank originated close to 450 million transactions, followed by HDFC Bank (427 million), Paytm Payments Bank (386 million) and ICICI Bank (340 million).
SBI recorded 350 million transactions in February, the highest in the last four months. In January it carried out 347 million transactions. In March, this fell slightly to 338 million. In April, this slipped to 298 million transactions, when the entire country was under a strict lockdown due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.
UPI is an interbank digital payments mechanism which allows consumers to make payments through smartphones, either by transferring money to another UPI ID or by scanning QR codes. Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Yes Bank, HDFC Bank and Paytm Payments Bank are the largest banks in this space, data shows. In May, UPI recorded 1.2 billion transactions supporting the transfer of Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
“UPI has ensured that any bank account holder can easily participate in digital payments, irrespective of that bank’s digital capabilities. Third-party UPI apps have made payments both inter-person and merchant payments seamless using a bank account of the customer’s choice,” said Deepak Abbott, who was previously a Senior Vice-President at Paytm.
While Yes Bank has been one of the major players in UPI, it has mostly seen transactions coming into its bank accounts. That means consumers have paid Yes Bank account holders.
“This has happened because they have acquired merchants for digital payments very aggressively who would have received these transactions. Historically, Yes Bank has been one of the leaders in merchant payments on UPI,” said a senior banker on the condition of anonymity.
Yes Bank recorded more than 573 million such transactions. A bulk of this could be merchant payments. NPCI did not offer any separate distinction between merchant transactions and person-to-person transactions.
Among popular third-party payment apps Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe are the major competitors vying for a share of the UPI payments pie. Facebook-owned WhatsApp Payments is also set to go live on UPI soon. It all depends on the instant messaging app submitting data localisation plans for NPCI and Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) consideration.
NPCI data showed that in terms of transaction success rates, Axis Bank has shown highest success rate in April at 96 percent, followed by ICICI Bank around 95 percent. Banks consistently have shown upwards of 90 percent transaction success rates.