Daily Dash: UPI Hits 100bn Milestone

January 4, 2024
India’s payments success story continues as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) hits another accomplishment, while the European Central Bank has issued five new tenders for the digital euro project.

Record UPI Transactions Recorded In 2023

Transactions in India through its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) crossed the 100bn mark in 2023. 

This is the first time this has happened since its launch in 2016. 

The year closed at around 118bn transactions through the indigenised instant payment system of UPI, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has revealed. 

Overall, in 2023 there was a huge rise of 60 percent in UPI transactions compared with 74bn recorded in 2022.

ECB Issues Calls For Digital Euro Component Providers

The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued five calls for applications to establish framework agreements with potential providers of digital euro components and related services.

The calls for applications include the fraud management component, a component for offline services, and the app and software development kit (SDK) components, consisting of a digital euro app and an SDK to support intermediaries in the provision of digital euro services through their own mobile apps and online interfaces. 

Deadlines for applications vary but all conclude in February. 

The ECB has said that it is not making a commitment to launch any of the development work listed in the calls for applications. 

Rather, the purpose of the selection process is to establish framework agreements with the most suitable external providers to ensure that the Eurosystem is prepared to start developing a digital euro in the future if warranted. 

No decision to issue a digital euro will be taken until the European Union’s legislative process has been completed.

Revolut Revenue Tops $1bn But Higher Costs Wipe Out Profit Margin

Revolut has published its delayed financial statement for FY2022, revealing a significant growth in revenue but a flat-lining in gross profits.

In 2022, total revenue increased to $1.1bn (£923m), up 45 percent from $786m (£638m) in 2021.

The neobank also gained more than 10m new customers, increased its deposit base by 71 percent and increased the number of customers on paid plans by 55 percent.

However, these gains were cancelled out by large investments in staff, whose total headcount doubled from 3,000 to 6,000.

Revenue from cards and interchange also doubled from £149m to £306m, but overall, gross profit came in at about £6m for the year, down from £26.3m in FY2021.

The big question mark still looming over Revolut’s future growth is its UK banking licence application, which this month enters its third year without an answer.

UK Post Office Breaks Record For Highest Cash Withdrawals In Single Day

The UK Post Office has revealed that December 22, 2023 was a recording-breaking day for personal cash withdrawals, with £62.4m taken out over the counter.

The figure beats the previous record of £51.5m, which was set on December 23, 2023, by more than £10m.

Ross Borkett, head of banking at Post Office, also noted that £3m was deposited and withdrawn at Post Office branches on Christmas Day itself, which was an increase of almost £1m over the previous year.

About 1,500 of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches opened on Christmas Day — a service that Borkett said is “vital” for pub and restaurant owners who need to park their cash earnings ahead of a quieter January.

Affirm Expands BNPL Offering To Self-Checkouts At 4,500 Walmart Stores

Affirm has announced that its buy now, pay later (BNPL) solution can now be accessed at self-checkout kiosks at more than 4,500 Walmart stores in the US.

Previously, under a partnership launched in 2019, Affirm was available at staffed checkouts, online and via the Walmart app.

In Q3 2023, Affirm’s net loss narrowed to $171m, down from $250m in the same period in 2022.

The Nasdaq-listed BNPL has been on a cost-cutting drive for the past year. In February 2023, Affirm announced plans to cut one in five staff, and later that month, it also withdrew from the Australian market.

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