ICICI Bank has 15.4 million virtual payment addresses (VPAs), which were generated on its mobile applications, at the end of the quarter ended June 30, 2018 (Q1FY19). The VPAs were created through iMobile (exclusively for ICICI Bank customers), Pockets wallet (open to non-bank customers as well), and other partner platforms. The bank hadn’t disclosed the number of merchants it acquired over its mobile payments application EazyPay this quarter or the last. The last time it gave this number was in Q3FY18, when the bank said that it acquired 158,000 merchants through the EazyPay application. The bank does not give information on the number of transactions it processes or the value of the transactions. It is also unclear how many VPAs are active at the moment. However, the number of merchants it acquires is significant as banks are allowed to charge merchants a higher fee than compared to P2P payments on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The merchant discount rate (MDR) — the fee borne by the seller to provide services — is 0.25% for payments below Rs 1,000 and 0.65% for all other charges. In this context, it is worth noting that although UPI saw an increase of 30% in the total transaction volumes between May 2017 and June 2018, the number of transactions declined for the first time in May 2018. Going forward, UPI numbers may fall again given that the government has withdrawn multiple incentives for both merchants and customers alike for making transactions using UPI transactions. Further, the National Payments Corporation of India…
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