The COVID-19 Pandemic brought many changes in the lives of people around the world in 2020. From rom wearing masks to using sanitizers to using more and more online transaction –everything became a part of the new normal.
Given the precautions that was mandatorily practiced by people in the wake of COVID-19, one of the change was the usage of digital payments platform instead of cash. People gave more priority to online transactions through Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
According to the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI transactions registered a jump of over 103 percent in 2020. While the total UPI transactions done by Indians in 2019 was beyond 2 lakh 2 thousand crore, it crossed 4 lakh 16 thousand crores in the year 2020.
People resorted to more UPI transactions rather than cash is because UPI payment is believed to be safe and contactless. Also, offers like cashback and off from UPI payments also attracted people more towards UPI payments.
Kanhaiya Kumar, a resident of Noida, said that he has stopped keeping cash with him since 2020 because there it is hassle free and is a big relief in times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from the common customers, UPI payment module has also been very popular with the shopkeepers who said that the customers made more UPI payments than cash in 2020. Shopkeepers said that since the circumstances changed after the COVID-19 Pandemic, they also appealed to the people to make maximum UPI payments for safety of both sides. Sidhant Singhal, who runs a grocery shop in Sector 19 of Noida, said that he stopped taking cash soon after Corona virus started spreading. He had read several media reports which highlighted the dangers related to the spread of corona from cash. Hence he appealed to the customers, seeking UPI if they wanted to purchase goods from his shop.
The Unified Payment Interface (UPI) was launched in 2016 involving real time payments between two sets of mobile holders. Its transactions have grown from Rs. 0.5 billion in October, 2016.