Hello UPI: Digital payment apps take center stage at Delhi G20 Summit

by The Technical Blogs


A key display at the G20 Summit this year, hosted by India, will be the growing Digital Public Infrastructure of the country. A Digital India Experience Zone is part of the event and will be set up in halls 4 and 14 of Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

There, delegates and leaders from 18 other member nations and the European Union will interact with various Digital India initiatives launched in recent years.

Four Indian banks have launched dedicated United Payments Interface (UPI) apps for G20 delegates, namely SBI, Axis, Canara and ICICI Bank with a balance of Rs 2,000 digital currency, using which the delegates can buy goodies by scanning QR codes. The delegates will also be shown flagship platforms like Aadhaar, eSanjeevani, Digi-locker, DIKSHA, Bhasini and the all-new Gita app.

This all comes at an opportune time. UPI transactions achieved the milestone of reaching 1,000 crores in August this year. In its aftermath, the National Payment Corporation of India launched six new UPI features in September. These included a credit line on UPI, the conversational payment mode “Hello UPI”, Billpay Connect, UPI Tap & Pay, and UPI Lite X.

India Today’s Data Intelligence unit analysed UPI data available on the NCPI portal and charted its growth from its launch date on August 25, 2016, to August 2023. In a span of seven years, there have been 1,024 crore UPI transactions worth Rs 15 lakh crore. A G20 Policy Recommendation report by the World Bank released recently states that “for the fiscal year 2022–23, the total value of UPI transactions was nearly 50 percent of India’s nominal GDP”.

The maximum number of digital transactions were made through third-party apps like Phone Pe, Google Pay, and Paytm, followed by Cred, the Axis Bank app, and Amazon Pay, respectively. Phone Pe topped the list with Rs 474.3 crore through 7.6 lakh crore transactions as of July 2023. A little more than 5 lakh crore transactions were made through Google Pay worth Rs 349.4 crore in the same period of time.

The ease of transactions makes UPI a viable method of payments globally, especially in countries where cash transactions are preferred over card payments. This has led the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce UPI in foreign shores. This will also enable Indian tourists to scan their UPI apps and make such payments while travelling abroad.

In July 2021, Bhutan became the first country to accept UPI through the BHIM app, followed by Malaysia in August 2021 and a handful of South-East Asian countries in September 2021. The digital platform is now available in about 20 countries with the most recent addition being Sri Lanka in July 2023 through the Lanka Pay app.

Published On:

Sep 9, 2023


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