India's UPI and Aadhaar-enabled payment platform has seen a huge traction during the COVID-19 days with the government making 10 crore digital transactions worth Rs 20,000 crore as direct benefit transfer in the month of June 2020, says finance secretary, Ajay Bhushan Pandey. The size of transaction happened on the basis of fingerprint-based authentication stood at Rs 50,000 crore for April-June, he adds.
Addressing the session on 'digitisation in governance' at the 17th Annual Capital Market Conference organised online by industry chamber Ficci, Pandey said the use of digital payment was not just for direct transfer of funds by the government to deserving citizens, but also for people-to-people or retail transactions. In June 2020, 134 crore transactions worth Rs 2.62 lakh crore happened through UPI, he said. The month-on-month jump in the use of UPI payment system was also quite visible.
"In June, 134 crore transactions happened through UPI. If you compare it with June 2019, there is an increase of 78 per cent. In June 2017, this used to be in just 1 crore. In 2018, it increased to 24 crore, and to 75 crore in June 2019. This transaction is much more than the debit card transactions, also much more than the ATM cash withdrawals. So, UPI has taken over the transactions (by volume) on debit card and ATM cash withdrawal," Pandey points out.
Pandey said that UPI and Adhaar-enabled payment system helped the government transfer Rs 500 each to 19.36 crore of women Jandhan account holders and Rs 2000 to 8 crore farmers for three months at the click of a button. "The money reaches in a split second," he explains.
According to Pandey, 69 crore people have linked their bank accounts with Aadhaar number, making Aadhaar-enabled payment platform an immensely useful tool. It is being used for 293 direct benefit transfer schemes. "Over 25 crore LPG connection benefits are going through Aadhaar-enabled payment platform. There are 62 crore PDS beneficiaries, 8.46 crore MNREGA beneficiaries, and almost 2 crore old age pension and widow pension beneficiaries," Pandey explained. Some 9.7 crore EPFO beneficiaries are also connected with the Aadhaar-based payment transfer system.