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UPI signs off 2021 on a record high, value of transactions crosses Rs 8 lakh crore in December

2021, too, was a record year for the UPI, which clocked 3,874 crore transactions amounting to Rs 71.46 lakh crore

January 01, 2022 / 12:11 PM IST
The value of UPI transactions in 2021 was up more than 130 percent from the previous year.(Representative image)

The value of UPI transactions in 2021 was up more than 130 percent from the previous year.(Representative image)

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has ended the year on a record high, clocking Rs 8.26 lakh crore worth of transactions in December, the latest data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shows. Transaction volumes, too, scaled a new peak of 456 crore during the month.

For the year, UPI saw 3,874 crore transactions, up 105 percent from 1,887 crore in 2020. The value of these transactions is Rs 71.46 lakh crore, up more than 130 percent from Rs 31 lakh crore in the previous year, the data shows.

The numbers bounced back from a marginal dip in November after October saw record transactions. The easing of coronavirus restrictions and upbeat sentiment led to increased purchases, both offline as well as online.

But with the fast-spreading Omicron variant pushing up daily infections and states bringing back curbs, UPI numbers will be closely watched in the coming months.

In 2021, a devastating second wave of the coronavirus saw people take to digital transactions more than ever, causing a phenomenal rise in UPI usage.

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Since UPI’s launch in 2016, monthly transaction values took four years to breach the Rs 3-lakh-crore-mark in August 2020. Barely 15 months later, the number has more than doubled to go past Rs 8 lakh crore.

UPI’s growth is expected to continue as the penetration of digital transactions is growing. According to estimates by research firm Jefferies, in the financial year 2022 (FY22), India will see $2.16 trillion worth of digital payments. UPI is expected to make up close to 50 percent of that followed by Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) at 25 percent.

NPCI, which is the umbrella entity that handles UPI, RuPay, Bharat Bill Pay, etc, is aiming for 1 billion UPI transactions a day over the next two to three years.

It is also said to be working on using UPI for credit and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) transactions. With the drastic rise in customers accessing small-ticket credit through the BNPL model, it can further boost UPI usage.

The year 2022 will also be important for UPI players. In 2021, as per the latest app-wise data available on NPCI ‘s website till November, PhonePe enjoyed a 45 percent market share in volumes followed by Google Pay at 35 percent and Paytm Payments Bank at 15 percent.

With WhatsApp expanding its user base and stepping up customer acquisition, there may be a change in the market share. At present, Meta-owned WhatsApp has a minuscule market share, however, NPCI has raised its user ceiling to 40 million and may relax the cap further in a phased manner.
Priyanka Iyer
first published: Jan 1, 2022 11:57 am
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