UPI, a 4-year-old payments infrastructure built by India’s largest banks, surpassed 2 billion transactions last month, exactly a year after hitting the 1 billion monthly transactions milestone.
Driving the transactions for UPI — which has become the most popular digital payments method in India thanks to its open architecture that allows interoperability among all participating payments apps — are Walmart’s PhonePe, Google Pay, Paytm, and Amazon Pay.
“Unlike China, we have given equal opportunities to both small and large domestic and foreign companies,” said Dilip Asbe, chief executive of NPCI, the payments body behind UPI, in an earlier interview. The 2.07 billion UPI transactions in October processed $51.9 billion in value, up from $25.7 billion in October 2019. Asbe has previously said that NPCI is planning to expand UPI outside of India.
For the first time in more than a year, Google Pay did not drive the most volume of UPI transactions. PhonePe recorded 835 million UPI transactions in October, it said, while Google Pay hit about 820 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Paytm recorded about 245 million transactions, while Amazon Pay settled with about 125 million, the people said.
In a statement, PhonePe confirmed that it assumed the “market-leading position” with over 40% of the market share in UPI. Google did not immediately respond to request for comment.
BHIM UPI has managed to change the face of person-to-person and person-to-merchant money transfers in the past few years while making them safer and more secure. #BHIMUPI #UPIChalega #DigitalPayments @dilipasbe pic.twitter.com/INjptjBEf7
— BHIM (@NPCI_BHIM) November 1, 2020
Unlike Google Pay, both Paytm and PhonePe also operate a wallet service. The wallet service is not powered by UPI. PhonePe said overall it processed 925 million transactions (UPI + wallet) last month and had over 100 million monthly active users.
PhonePe has recently seen a surge in its transactions as more offline shops open and merchants and consumers opt for a digital alternative to complete transactions. The app has also added a range of financing services, including 600,000 insurance policies, it said.
“We are on a mission to make digital payments a way of life for every Indian citizen, and our next target is to cross 500 million registered users by Dec 2022. In line with our brand ethos of ‘Karte Ja. Badhte Ja,’ (Hindi for keep working and growing) we continue to launch new and innovative products for every strata of Indian society, as well as enable digital payment acceptance across every merchant in every village and town in India,” said Sameer Nigam, chief executive and founder of PhonePe, in a statement.