RBI Data Shows a Steady Increase in Digital Transactions in August, 2017

Bank transfers and payments at POS terminals through debit cards showed a 9.5% and 3.5% month-on-month growth, driving the digital payments in August 2017, significantly upwards.
According to the latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India, IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) transactions, that also include UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money), rose majorly to reach the 75.6 million transactions mark in August. The number of transactions for the months of July and June this year were 69 and 65.8 million respectively.
Bank-to-bank transfers showed a healthy growth in August, while debit/credit card swipes at ATMs and POS terminals reached a combined transaction value of 1.1 billion, an increase of .03 billion from July’s 1.07 billion. And interestingly, majority of these payments were made through debit card swipes at POS terminals.
The news however, is not that great for mobile wallets, as the RBI data revealed a 4.2% fall in payments through e-wallets – from 235.4 million in July, to 225.4 million in August.
Industry observers, however, are taking this news with cautious optimism. They feel the surge of digital transactions in the month of August could be attributed to the festive season that saw Ganesh Chaturthi and Raksha Bandhan, and also the special offers and promotions that were on leading up to the Independence Day. They hope that the numbers could rise further, all the way through September and October, owing to Dussehra and Diwali.
Not just the transaction volumes, August also saw a steady growth in the total number of debit cards in circulation in the country. Between June and August, the volumes increased from 793 million to 810 million, while credit cards hovered around the 32 million mark. POS terminals also exhibited consistent growth – from 2.8 million in July, to 2.9 million in August. The biggest jump in POS terminals was post demonetization, when it doubled in three months to 2.5 million from 1.5 million units before November, 2016.
The article originally appeared in the Economic Times.

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