India’s homegrown payments platform UPI has been growing in leaps and bounds. And in October 2019, the platform has hit a major landmark: That of facilitating a billion payments in October. So basically, if UPI received $1 for every transaction it supported, we would have ourselves a new unicorn.

The government-backed payments platform now also boasts of 100 Mn users within 3 years, which going by number of users, is the fastest rise by a payments platform not just in India, but across the globe.

Speaking on the topic, Dilip Asbe, chief executive officer, NPCI said:

The UPI has had the fastest acceptance not just in payments but among other platforms as well. I have not compared the numbers but given the time taken to reach 100 million users by social media and other platforms.

Private players such as Google Pay, Paytm, and PhonePe have all been riding on UPI to facilitate payments for their own consumers. This coming in wake of demonetization, has led to a huge upsurge in the number of payments taking place every month. What could also have helped is the fact that UPI has waived off fees for payments up to INR 100.

Of course, all of these companies including PhonePe and Paytm have also seen a steep rise in their valuation. This has been influenced in part by the push the Indian government has been giving to digital-only payments in the country.

As per Asbe:

The four apps are 90% of total volume on the app side. But on the merchant-acquiring side, it is a diverse set of banks and fintechs that are deploying QR codes. he objective for the next three years is to expand this 100-million base to 500 million. We believe in the next two years the merchant ecosystem will get digitised with the number of QR codes going to 30 million from 10 million now.

Meanwhile, Asbe also spoke about plans for taking the platform global, now that we have all the proof of its robustness that is needed in its three years of operations in India. He also expects collaboration between foreign fintechs, NBFCs, and banks to happen somewhere down the line.

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