India to become digital payment society soon: Finance Ministry

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New Delhi : With monthly transactions crossing 300 million mark through Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Finance Ministry officials on Monday said digital payment will soon be the norm in the country.

"Digitalisation of payments in India is marching ahead with gusto. With base of 100 million Indians connected with digital payment ecosystem rising at a fast clip, India will soon be a digital payment society," Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg on Monday said in a tweet.

UPI, the real-time bank-to-bank payment system on mobile platform launched in 2016, registered 312.02 million transactions in August, up 32 per cent from 235.65 million transactions in July, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) said on Saturday.

In terms of transaction value, the money transferred through India's flagship payments platform went up 18 per cent to Rs 54,212.26 crore in August from Rs 45,845.64 crore in July, said the NPCI, which developed the platform, in its monthly update on UPI.

The data does not include transactions with debit or credit in the same account for the month of August, it said. It had directed banks to stop transactions from different UPI applications with debit and credit happening in the same account from August 1 to prevent artificial transactions by fintech companies to increase UPI numbers.

Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar said the spurt in digital transactions reflects changing consumer behaviour and wider adoption of the technology in society.

"Digital India making deep inroads into consumer behaviour. BHIM UPI txns show increasing user adoption month on month. Aug '18 txn count/value up by 32.7% & 18% over July '18. Building a less-cash and financially-inclusive economy," Kumar tweeted.

In a year's time, the number of banks attached to UPI has gone up from 55 in August 2017 to 114 in August 2018. Year-on-year, the volume of transactions shot up 19 times from 16.6 million in August 2017 to 312 million last month, the NPCI data revealed.

To make UPI more attractive, NPCI, which is owned by a consortium of major banks, launched UPI 2.0 last month that allows banks to introduce more facilities like linking customers' overdraft accounts with UPI and checking invoice before payment.