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NPCI’s flagship platforms get a helping hand from COVID-19 lockdowns

The COVID-19 pandemic shut businesses and restricted people from normal activity for several months in 2020. But in the wake of the lockdown, digital payments adoption grew significantly particularly from the second half of the year.

In particular, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has seen transaction volumes double in a matter of a few months between April and September. According to data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), released last week, UPI recorded 2.23 billion transactions worth over ₹4.16 lakh crore as of December 2020, up by 105% from last year. In 2020, there were a total of ₹33.87 lakh crore transactions on the UPI platform.

Bharat Bill Payments System doubles in value

Similarly, transactions on the Bharat Bill Payments System (BBPS), another NPCI-owned payments rail, doubled in the last year. In December 2020, there were over 26 million transactions worth a little over ₹3,962 crore compared to 14 million transactions worth ₹1,970 crore in same month of the previous year. A total of ₹35,466.5 crore transactions took place on BBPS during the last year.

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Aadhaar Payments System close to historic high

The central government has been using the Aadhaar-enabled Payments System (AEPS) to transfer welfare benefits to citizens across the country dealing with the hardships of the lockdown. This led to a massive boost to transactions flowing through AEPS between April and June this year. In December, there were 72.5 million transactions worth ₹19,919 crore, around 104% higher than in the previous year. A little over ₹1.98 lakh crore worth of transactions took place on the AEPS platform in 2020.

Immediate Payments System reaches historical high

Transactions on the Immediate Payments System (IMPS), used for higher value transactions, grew by 38% to over ₹2.92 lakh crore in December 2020 compared to 2.1 lakh crore in the previous year. In total, there were ₹26.82 lakh crore transactions processed on IMPS in 2020.

FASTag hits new historical high

Transactions on the National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) or FASTag platform have grown gradually over the last year, as the government mandated all cars and vehicles to use the system to pay for tolls on national highways from January 2020 onward. Though the government had suspended toll collection for the first few months of the pandemic, toll collections have since improved as restrictions on supply-chain movements and inter-state passenger commute were eased. In December 2020, there were 138.4 million transactions on FASTag worth ₹2,303.8 crore up by 83% from the previous year. A total of ₹19,606 crore worth of transactions were processed on FASTag during 2020.

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