The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) saw an increase of 4% in the total transaction volumes taking place between February and March 2018, according to data published by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The NPCI is a private company owned by Indian banks, and owns and operates payments systems such as UPI and IMPS.

The total number of transactions in March 2018 were around 28.9 times higher than in the same month last year. The amount transacted increased by 26% to Rs 24,172.6 crores over February 2018. The amount transacted in March 2018 was 10 times higher than in the corresponding month last year. In March, the number of transactions and amount transacted occurred per day, as a result, were at their highest peak.

Some observations:

1. UPI transactions have been growing since launch. There appears to have been a hockey-stick effect that has taken place in the last five months. Note that Google Tez launched on September 18, 2017, and had reported 140 million transactions for the month of October and November since launch, apart from 12 million users. If you look at UPI transactions on a per day basis for each month, there has been a continuous increase.

However, the increase in the number of transactions is probably just a function of cashbacks: new users could be doing P2P transactions worth Rs 1 in hopes of getting a cashback in their accounts. In a blog post, PhonePe had said that:

“Just 40,000 unique consumers did 500+ transactions each in February on Paytm. Paytm’s average transaction value is less than Rs 40. In contrast, 6,000,000 unique customers did 5 transactions each in February on PhonePe. Our average transaction value is over Rs1,800” the PhonePe blog post read.

2. The number of transactions grew by 6.7 million in March 2018 whereas the total amount transacted increased by Rs 5,046 crores. In February 2018, volume had increased by 19.6 million and amount transacted had grown Rs 3,555 crores.

3. The average amount per transaction rose to Rs 1,358 for March 2018. It has been trending down, with an increase in the number of transactions. Even then, it has remained above of Rs 900 mark.

4. The number of banks on UPI increased to 91 in March 2018.