The volume of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payments declined 5.8% in March 2020 over the previous month, but surpassed the 1 billion mark anyway, according to data published by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). This is noteworthy, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and challenges from the Yes Bank moratorium. The total amount transacted reduced 7% to Rs 2,06,462 crore. NPCI is a private body owned by public sector and private banks in India, it owns and operates important payments systems such as UPI and IMPS.

However, both total number of transactions and the amount transacted in March 2020 increased by 1.5 times over March 2019.

Some observations

1.  Although the number of transactions and amount transacted has been increasing since September 2019, a decline in transactions and amount transacted was seen in March 2020. As a result, transactions per day decreased for the first time 40 million per day from 45 million in the previous month.

2. The number of transactions declined by 76.4 million in March, and the total amount transacted also went down by Rs 15,533 crores. In the previous month (February 2020), the number of transactions had increased by 18.3 million and the amount transacted had grown by Rs 5,753 crores.

3. The average amount per transaction slightly declined to Rs 1,656 for March 2020, though it has remained largely flat since November 2019, and has remained above Rs 1,500 since a year now (since March 2019).

4. A total of 148 banks were operational on in March 2020.