Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was maintaining a stellar show particularly after October 2019 when it crossed the milestone of 1 billion transactions for a month. However, the coronavirus pandemic has somewhat dented the growth of the National Payments Corporation of India or NPCI-owned entity as it registered a 21% fall in transactions in April as compared to the previous month.
While overall UPI transactions data is released by NPCI, the split figures of UPI volume processed by third-party apps has not been revealed since July 2019. PhonePe was the then leader in terms of processing volume and amount through UPI, followed by Google Pay and Paytm.
Thereafter, Google Pay had started gaining momentum and became the top UPI-based payments apps in terms of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments while PhonePe took lead in peer-to-merchant (P2M) payments.
In the past 8-10 months, Google has emerged as the largest processor of P2P payments followed by PhonePe and Paytm, said sources privy to the matter requesting anonymity.
“Where UPI had clocked 999.57 million transactions, Google Pay registered around 430 million in overall volume,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “PhonePe and Paytm recorded over 365 million and 125 million transactions, respectively.”
On the P2M front, PhonePe led the pack with 180 million volume processed while Google Pay and Paytm’s respective transactions were recorded at 164 million and 69 million with regard to P2M payments.
Sources also added that the share of P2M transactions surged for UPI as people have been preferring to use QR-code based payments than cash and cards at retail outlets.
Responding to Entrackr’s queries, a Paytm Payments Bank spokesperson said that they have reduced their dependency on UPI by connecting via their banking services that include wallet, IMPS, NEFT and RTGS.
“We will continue to reduce dependency on UPI and focus on the wallet & direct bank transfers. When it comes to merchant payments, Paytm has majority market share offering multiple payment methods,” the spokesperson said.
PhonePe declined to comment while queries sent to Google Pay did not elicit an immediate response. We will update the post as and when it responds.
Despite low volumes due to the ongoing lockdown, all three leading UPI apps have collected a decent amount of transactions as they also provide a mode of payments to the PMCares Fund.
WhatsApp Pay has also been trying to get approvals from the Indian government to roll out its UPI-based payment system in the country. It’s been more than two years since WhatsApp launched its P2P payments version for select users.
Recently, India’s anti-competition watchdog CCI was said to be investigating allegations against WhatsApp of bundling its digital payment facility within its messaging app. With over 400 million MAU in India, WhatsApp’s UPI payments service is available for around 10 million users in the country.
Jio had also made a debut in the UPI ecosystem by integrating the UPI option in its main app MyJio. Entrackr had exclusively reported the development in January this year.
Update: We have changed the headline and updated the story after getting inputs from experts on UPI.