Growth of more than 200% in digital payment volume during the last four years since 2018-19: Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated 75 Digital Banking Units (DBUs) to the service of the nation on October 16, 2022. This was stated by the Union Minister of State for Finance, Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

The Minister stated that as on date, 84 DBUs are operational across the country. DBUs have been introduced to further the objective of improving the availability of digital infrastructure while accelerating and widening the reach of digital banking services. State /UT-wise details of DBUs is ANNEXED.

As a result of the initiative taken, the Minister stated, there has been a paradigm shift in digital transactions in India which is reflected in terms of the increase in the volume of digital transactions over the last four financial years as illustrated below:


Financial Year Volume (in lakhs)
2018-19 2,32,602
2019-20 3,40,025
2020-21 4,37,445
2021-22 7,197,68

Source: RBI


As observed from the above table, there has been a growth of more than 200% in digital payment volume during the last four years since 2018-19, the Minister stated.

Further, the Minister stated, as per the data sourced from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), UPI transactions registered in FY 21-22 were 45 billion, showing 8 times growth in last 3 years and 50 times growth in last 4 years. Also, the AePS transactions during FY 21-22 have grown 4 times in last 3 years and 10 times since last 4 years.

Giving more information, the Minister stated that DBUs are specialised fixed-point business units / hubs set up by commercial banks providing certain digital infrastructure for delivering digital banking products & services. DBUs provide digital services in both self-service and assisted mode. This enables customers to have 24*7 convenient access and enhanced digital experience in an efficient, paperless, secured and connected environment.

As informed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), the Minister stated, the broad parameters for selection of first 75 DBUs included:

    1. Tier-2 to Tier 6 centres (depending on the infrastructure availability);
    2. Districts identified by RBI under the pilot programme “Expanding and Deepening of Digital Payments Ecosystem”; and
    3. Districts with high percentage of women population, youth, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), geographically and strategically important locations, North-East area, SHG penetration and moderate level of digital adoption etc.

The Minister further stated that banks are adopting latest digital technologies to provide their customers with the enhanced and hassle-free banking services in a digital mode. Further, promotion of digital payment is one of the priorities of the Government to facilitate hassle free and seamless banking transactions for the people of the country. Several initiatives have been taken by Government of India, RBI, NPCI and banks, to promote digital transactions and to create awareness about digital payments in the country. Some of the initiatives are BHIM-UPI, UPI-123, Aadhar Payment Bridge, AePS etc.

Giving more information, the Minister stated that a pan-India Financial Literacy and Inclusion survey has been conducted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), based on 3 parameters namely, financial knowledge, attitude and behaviour. As per the survey done by RBI on a total score of 21, the average urban & rural score for different zones is provided below:


Zone Urban             Rural
North 11.5 11.5
East 12.1 12.1
Central 12.5 12.1
West 12.6 12.5
South 11.2 10.3



The Minister further stated that the Government, RBI and Banks have taken various measures to promote and create awareness about digital banking services such as:


  1. The Digital Finance for Rural India – Creating Awareness and Access (DFIAA) Scheme for conducting awareness sessions on digital finance options available for rural citizens;
  2. Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan Scheme is implemented as a Central Sector Scheme by Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology through Common Service Centres (CSC) e – governance services India Ltd with active collaboration of all the State governments and Union Territories (UTs);
  3. RBI conducts Electronic Banking Awareness and Training Programmes through its regional offices to create awareness about digital payments;
  4. RBI has been carrying out multi-channel public awareness media campaigns to sensitise public about how to be vigilant while using digital banking. RBI has also carried out multi lingual media campaigns on themes like Convenience of Digital Banking, Safety of Digital Banking etc.;
  5. RBI conducts Financial Literacy week every year since 2016 to propagate financial education;
  6. Banks conduct special camps through their Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs) on “Going Digital” through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and *99# (USSD);
  7. Rural Branches of Banks conduct camps covering all the messages of Financial Awareness Messages Booklet and two digital platforms i.e. UPI and *99# USSD; and
  8. Banking Correspondents also create awareness while facilitating transactions in the rural areas because of their familiarity with local population.


In terms of the instructions issued by Reserve Bank of India on ‘Establishment of Digital Banking Units’ vide circular dated April 7, 2022, Scheduled Commercial Banks (other than Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), Payment Banks (PBs) and Local Area Banks (LABs) are permitted to open DBUs in Tier 1 to Tier 6 centres, unless otherwise specifically restricted, without having the need to take permission from RBI in each case, the Minister concluded.

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