Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payment volumes increased by 15.1% to 2.07 billion in October 2020 over the previous month, per data published by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). For the same period, amount transacted via UPI increased by 17.3% to over ~₹386,000 crore. NPCI is a private company owned by Indian banks; it owns and operates important payments systems such as UPI and IMPS.

Transactions volumes in October were 1.8x YoY, with total amount transacted increasing 2x YoY to ₹386,107 crore. This steep increase comes after a drastic slump in both metrics in April, given the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key observations

1. Increase over September: The number of transactions increased by 271.5 million in October, whereas the total amount transacted went up by Rs 57,079 crores. In the previous month (September 2020), volume had increased by 181.3 million and the amount transacted grew by Rs 30,720 crores.

2. Average transactions per day: Around 66.8 million transactions were completed and ₹12,455 crore was transacted on an average per day in October. The average number transactions per day in October was the highest till date.

3. Size of transaction: The average amount exchanged per transaction increased marginally over the previous month to ₹1,864. However, this is a 12% YoY increase from ₹1,666 in October 2019. Average amount per transacted fell to its lowest in the past one year in April 2020, to ₹1,521.

4. Banks on UPI: 15 more banks onboarded UPI payments in October 2020, now totaling to 189 banks. Since October 2019, over a 12-month period, 48 banks have been added. 41 of which have been added since March 2020. The nationwide lockdown for coronavirus began at the end of March, and lasted till mid-May after which relaxations have gradually come into place. It’s possible that more banks began UPI payments as unprecedented immobility, along with need to limit human contact, meant a natural move to digital payments.