Sources report that Airtel Payments Bank has crossed 1 billion transactions by the quarter ending September 2021. This means that the platform has seen almost 61% Y-o-Y growth in transaction volume.
Airtel Payments Bank Hits a Major Milestone
The payments platform, like digital payments in general, has seen a positive shift in growth following the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more people turned towards digital payments, the growth has been staggering over the last two years or so.
In the latest statistics posted by the National Payments Commission of India, total transactions hit 4.186 billion in November 2021. However, the transaction volume has dipped slightly from over 4.2 billion in October. During the current fiscal, the platform has seen 331.92 million transactions till November, averaging 36.88 million transactions per month. This means that the current fiscal accounts for almost a third of the billion transactions it managed.
Airtel Payments Bank CEO Anubrata Biswas told PTI, “Airtel Payments Bank is able to offer its solutions to both the urban digital and the rural underbanked customer. Our products are user-need focused and designed to bring millions of users in the ambit of digital banking”.
UPI and Digital Payments – Towards a Cashless Future
The demonization (still a touchy subject to talk about) forced the hand of many to switch to digital, directly influencing UPI’s rise to prominence. In the immediate aftermath of demonetization in November 2016, UPI saw a significant rise in the number of transactions and volume.
Not just the number of transactions, the value followed a similar trend; growing 2 times from October to November, 7 times from November to December, and double again, from December to January. Another such outlier event happened with the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
At first, the transactions dipped, coinciding with the implementation of the nationwide lockdown. However, that dip was short-lived; the subsequent boost in contactless and digital payments saw the transactions double in 6 months.
Over the last two years, both the number of transactions and the transaction volume have been growing at a steady pace of 6-7%. Therefore, even if we project a similar growth, by January, transactions should cross the 5-billion-mark. However, since it depends on more than the historic trends, it might be way off of our projection here.
India has already launched on UPI2.0; it has been launched in August 2018. It has updated the security of transactions, and the whole blockchain, while introducing new features. One of the key new features is the one-time mandate, which allows users to schedule a payment in advance. Along with this, features such as invoice verification have greatly improved the user experience. Over the years, NCPI has been working with technology and banking partners to further simplify and enhance the whole UPI experience, to ensure more and more inclusion.
However, the project that has been 12 years in the making, has finally started to deliver, and there is no doubt that UPI will carry India towards a cashless future.