Amidst the pandemic and the consequential lockdown, there was an extreme decline in the transactions and payments via various banking modes. Cheque payments, ATM withdrawal, NEFT, and RTGS saw a decline of 26-71% in April, however, there was a surge in direct benefit transfers, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. The government’s Aadhar direct benefit transfer (DBT) payments increased in April and reported a 138% jump making DBT the only transaction and payment method which was extensively used than the regular levels. Overall, payments transactions dipped by 46% in value in April over the previous month as the countrywide lockdown affected the economic activities.
Days in the wake of forcing a lockdown, the government had reported cash benefits to individuals under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana to give salary backing to the poor during the lockdown time frame. Under the financial relief package, the administration had reported that 2.40 crore women Jan Dhan account holders will be given Rs 500 every month for a quarter of a year. The first portion of Rs 2000 because of farmers in 2020-21 was likewise dispensed in April, among different measures.
Then, the greater part of the withdrawal in online exchanges was noticeable under cheque payments which saw a decay of 71% in April to Rs 1.63 lakh crore when contrasted with Rs 5.65 lakh crore in March. RTGS, which is, in any case, the biggest mode for online high-value transactions has likewise dropped by 46.5% in esteem. While the RBI-worked Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) framework was utilized to settle installments worth Rs 120.47 lakh crore in March, the equivalent declined to Rs 64.43 lakh crore in April.
Another exceptionally utilized payment mode — NEFT — was no exception with the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) announcing a fall of over 42%. The transaction value of installments dropped from Rs 22.83 lakh crore in March to Rs 13.06 lakh crore in April. Together, RTGS and NEFT represent over 90% of online exchanges in the nation.