The transaction value on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was 6.39 lakh crores in August 2021, 2.1x higher than in the same month of the previous year, according to data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI). Overall, the transaction volume rose 2.2 times over the previous year to 3.56 billion in August. While the UPI payment volume increased by 9.5% in August 2021 compared to the previous month, the UPI transaction value increased by 5.4% compared to July.

This sharp increase comes after both metrics plummeted in April amid multiple government lockdowns due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important observations

1st increase compared to August: The number of transactions increased by 307.7 million in August, while the total amount increased by 32,835.9 billion rupees. In the previous month (July 2021) the transaction volume had increased by 440.3 million and the transaction amount increased by 58,907.8 billion rupees.

2. Average transactions per day: Around 114.7 million transactions were completed and an average of Rs.20,616.7 billion per day was processed in August. The average number of transactions per day in August 2021 was the highest to date.

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3. Transaction size: The average amount exchanged per transaction decreased by 4% compared to the previous month to 1,798 rupees. However, this is a slight YoY decrease of 2% from 1,843 rupees in August 2020. The average amount per transaction fell to its lowest value per transaction in November 2020 at 1,769 rupees.

4. Banks on UPI service: 14 more banks started UPI payments in August 2021, bringing the total to 249 banks. The nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic began at the end of March 2020 and lasted until mid-May, after which it was gradually eased. It is possible that more banks started UPI payments due to unprecedented immobility and the need to limit human contact, which marked a natural switch to digital payments.

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