From the Viewsroom

UPI for whom?

AJ Vinayak | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 25, 2017

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Government bodies are not promoting the PM’s digital initiative

Post-demonetisation, there was a major thrust on digital payment; citizens were encouraged to use their debit/credit cards at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and digital wallets and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of various banks.

However, many public sector undertakings, government departments and agencies are yet to make an effort to integrate UPI apps as a payment option for the user.

A common man or woman, who wants to use UPI in government transactions, commonly needs it while paying for LPG refill booking, electricity bills and for landline (if he/she still has it) telephone connections. Though a majority of rural and semi-urban India depends on government departments, agencies and undertakings affiliated to them for paying these bills, they have not made any effort to integrate UPI as a payment option.

A report on ‘Digital payments post-demonetisation’ by Motilal Oswal Securities puts the value of the total transaction using UPI at ₹100 crore for November 2016. This value increased to ₹2,800 crore in May 2017. To boost the use of UPI, National Payments Corporation of India came out with an UPI app called BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) on December 30 last year.

The report puts the value of the total transaction under pre-paid instruments increased from ₹5,100 crore in November to ₹11,500 crore in May. The value of the total transaction at PoS terminals increased from ₹58,700 crore in November to ₹75,100 crore in May.

All the above-mentioned payment modes are used by many citizens for day-to-day activities. The private digital wallet companies, who provide their services through pre-paid payment instruments, have made an attempt to increase the transaction volumes considerably, post-demonetisation. In fact, many of the private players have integrated UPI as a payment option to load money to their wallets, or for online transactions.

However, many government agencies are not bothered about encouraging a new digital payment instrument initiated by the Prime Minister. Is this how a novel government initiative getting buried?

Deputy Editor

Published on June 25, 2017
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