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80pc of digital payments in India happen through UPI: RBI governor

Mumbai (Maharashtra): The share of UPI in digital payments in India has reached close to 80 per cent in 2023, informed Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das on Monday, as he outlined the growth of payments ecosystem in the country.

Addressing the Digital Payments Awareness Week organised by Reserve Bank of India, the RBI governor said India has not only navigated through the fast-evolving technological innovations but also played a pivotal role, as a catalyst, in developing one of the most modern payment systems in the world.

"This has been made possible by nurturing diverse payment systems in the country, namely, the bill payments, merchant payments, vendor payments, transit payments, or recurring payments," Das said.

Retail digital payments in India have grown from 162 crore transactions in the financial year 2012-13 to over 14,726 crore transactions in 2023-24 (till February 2024) -- approximately a 90-fold increase over 12 years.

Today, India accounts for nearly 46 per cent of the world's digital transactions (as per 2022 data), the governor said.

"The extraordinary growth in digital payments is also evident in the Reserve Bank's Digital Payment Index, which has witnessed a four-fold rise in the last five years," he asserted.

"The flagship of our payment systems, the 'UPI', has become the most talked about fast payment system not only in India but across the world.

It is the biggest contributor to the growth of digital payments in India. The share of UPI in digital payments has reached close to 80 per cent in 2023," he said.

At a macro level, the volume of UPI transactions increased from 43 crore in 2017 to 11,761 crore in 2023.

Apart from being a user-friendly interface and facilitating QR code-based payments, the UPI has evolved to include advanced functionalities such as offline payments through near field communication (NFC) technology (UPI Lite X), payments through feature phones (UPI 123Pay), AI-based conversational payments (hello! UPI).

"The recent progress of the UPI has thus been enormous. Currently, UPI is processing close to 42 crore transactions in a day," Das said.

UPI is India's mobile-based fast payment system, which facilitates customers to make round-the-clock payments instantly, using a Virtual Payment Address (VPA) created by the customer.

The UPI payment system has become hugely popular for retail digital payments in India, and its adoption is increasing at a rapid pace.

A key emphasis of the Indian government has been on ensuring that the benefits of UPI are not limited to India only; other countries, too, benefit from it. So far, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, France, UAE, and Singapore have partnered with India on emerging fintech and payment solutions.

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