Digital payments increase twofold during March-September 2021: RBI

With the Digital payments Index (DPI), the extent of digitisation of payments across the country can be calculated

January 20, 2022

As of September 2021, the DPI stands at 304.06 against 270.59 in March.

During March, the DPI stood at 153.47 and increased to 173.49 in September.

UPI payments tops the charts for making payments of US$1 trillion annually as of August 2021.

Using the UPI mode of transaction, more than 38 billion transactions amounting to Rs.71.59 trillion have been processed so far.

Digital payments Index (DPI) launched in January 2021 by The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) helps indicate the extent of digitisation of payments across the country. As of September 2021, the DPI stands at 304.06 against 270.59 in March. This shows that the country is adopting digital methods of payments over traditional payment methods. 

During the month of March 2019, the DPI stood at 153.47 and increased to 173.49 in September 2019, it also saw an increase of 207.94 in March 2020 and has been increasing ever since. DPI will continue to publish on a semi-annual basis with a lag of four months, said RBI. March 2018 is the base period for RBI-DPI, the score for which, during the same period is set at 100. 

As per a Jeffries report, India has made progress with UPI mode of payment i.e. unified payment interface, various credit applications, cards, mobile wallets and government-driven direct-benefit transfers. Experts also said that Covid-19 has brought about an advancement in the DPI in the last 5-10 years. 

So far, UPI payments tops the charts for making payments of US$1 trillion annually as of August 2021, followed by IMPS i.e. Immediate payments services. Mobile wallets hold the total market share of US$29 billion, credit and debit cards stand at US$230 million, with NEFT i.e. National Electronic Funds Transfer at US$3.6 trillion annually. This shows that the launch of several digital payments platforms have been increasing in recent years when compared to cash transactions.

Along with the government and the regulators taking initiatives to replace cash transactions, the JAM trinity i.e. Jan Dhan Bank Accounts, aadhar-based identification and mobile penetration, launch of UPI platforms, mobile banking apps and payment gateways has led to an increase in digital payments in the last couple of years. 

During FY 21-22, UPI has been the preferred mode of payment in the country – processing more than 31 billion transactions during FY20-21. During FY21, around 22 billion transactions were made using the UPI mode of transactions. Using the UPI mode of transaction, more than 38 billion transactions amounting to Rs.71.59 trillion have been processed so far. 

The National Payments Corporation of India, i.e. the umbrella organization of digital payments in the country, aims to achieve 1 billion transactions every day via the UPI platform for the up-coming 3-5 years.