The unified payments interface (UPI) transactions witnessed a meteoric 650 per cent rise at the semi-urban and rural stores in India this year, a report showed on Tuesday There was a growth of 25 per cent and 14 per cent in value and volume, respectively, in assisted financial transactions across semi-urban and rural retail counters in the country in 2022, according to the report by branchless banking and digital network PayNearby. While there was a 25 per cent increase in the demand for micro-ATMs and mPOS instruments, the EMI collections for financial institutions and NBFCs saw a steep growth of over 200 per cent. However, there has been a slight dip in the average cash withdrawal per transaction, from Rs 2,620 in 2021 to Rs 2,595 in 2022. “Bharat is aspirational, and the increased off-take of green shoot services like assisted commerce, OTT subscription, micro-lending validates our commitment to make these services easily available at a store nearby,” said Anand Kumar Bajaj, Founder, MD and CEO, PayNearby. This indicates a behavioural shift in the consumers in these regions, with more citizens adopting assisted digital means for their banking and lifestyle requirements and getting incorporated into the formal economy, the report mentioned. The report also indicated a sharp growth of over 200 per cent in the cash collection business (including EMIs) with a monthly average of Rs 1,400 crore, indicating demand for lending and other financing solutions, bouncing back to the pre-pandemic levels. “We have serviced close to Rs 70,000 crore of digital services in the first 10 months of this calendar year and the steady growth of cash withdrawal business, together with the fast track adoption of some of these green shoot services indicate a steady recovery of our economy post the devastating impact of the pandemic,” said Bajaj.