Digital Payment Apps Shine Bright at the Delhi G20 Summit with ‘Hello UPI

Digital Payment Apps Shine Bright at the Delhi G20 Summit with 'Hello UPI

A prominent feature at this year’s G20 Summit, hosted by India, will be the nation’s burgeoning Digital Public Infrastructure. Within this framework, a Digital India Experience Zone is poised to take center stage, occupying halls 4 and 14 of Bharat Mandapam in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

In these designated areas, delegates and leaders hailing from 18 other member nations, as well as the European Union, will have the opportunity to engage with various Digital India initiatives that have been launched in recent years.

Four prominent Indian banks have taken the initiative to provide dedicated United Payments Interface (UPI) apps for G20 delegates. These banks include SBI, Axis, Canara, and ICICI Bank, and they are equipping the delegates with a digital currency balance of Rs 2,000. This digital currency can be employed to make purchases by scanning QR codes. Moreover, the delegates will have the chance to explore flagship platforms such as Aadhaar, eSanjeevani, Digi-locker, DIKSHA, Bhasini, and the newly introduced Gita app.

The timing of this showcase is particularly opportune. UPI transactions crossed the significant milestone of 1,000 crores in August of this year. In response, the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) introduced six new UPI features in September. These innovations encompassed a credit line on UPI, the conversational payment mode “Hello UPI,” Billpay Connect, UPI Tap & Pay, and UPI Lite X.

India Today’s Data Intelligence unit conducted an analysis of UPI data accessible on the NCPI portal, tracing its growth from its inception on August 25, 2016, to August 2023. Over the course of seven years, there have been a staggering 1,024 crore UPI transactions, amounting to Rs 15 lakh crore. A G20 Policy Recommendation report by the World Bank, released recently, underscores that “for the fiscal year 2022–23, the total value of UPI transactions was nearly 50 percent of India’s nominal GDP.”

The majority of digital transactions were facilitated through third-party apps, with Phone Pe, Google Pay, and Paytm leading the way, followed by Cred, the Axis Bank app, and Amazon Pay. Phone Pe emerged as the frontrunner with Rs 474.3 crore transacted through 7.6 lakh crore transactions as of July 2023. Google Pay followed closely with over 5 lakh crore transactions valued at Rs 349.4 crore during the same period.

The ease and convenience of UPI transactions position it as a globally viable method of payment, particularly in countries where cash transactions remain prevalent over card payments. Recognizing this, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has taken the initiative to introduce UPI on foreign shores. This expansion also facilitates Indian tourists in utilizing their UPI apps for payments while traveling abroad.

The journey began in July 2021 when Bhutan became the first country to accept UPI through the BHIM app, followed by Malaysia in August 2021 and several South-East Asian countries in September 2021. Presently, this digital platform is accessible in approximately 20 countries, with the most recent inclusion being Sri Lanka in July 2023 through the Lanka Pay app.

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