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Top 6 factors contributing to progress of digital payments landscape in India in 2024

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Digital payments

In a remarkable evolution from traditional cash transactions to digital payments, India is witnessing a dynamic shift in its financial landscape. Recent trends within the online payments ecosystem are reshaping the way consumers conduct their daily transactions.

According to Statista, the global digital payments market is projected to reach a total transaction value of US$11.55 trillion in 2024, with an anticipated annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 9.52%. Looking at India, the digital payments market is projected to more than triple from $3 trillion to $10 trillion by 2026.

India’s progression towards a cashless society can be attributed to several key factors, such as:

  1. Government Initiatives: The 2016 demonetization move and the ongoing Digital India Campaign have played pivotal roles in promoting digital transactions, fostering increased awareness, and fostering acceptance of digital payment solutions.
  2. Smartphone Penetration: The rapid proliferation of smartphones has provided a convenient platform for digital payment services, making mobile wallets, UPI, and other apps more accessible to a growing number of users.
  3. UPI Adoption: Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has emerged as a popular method for seamless fund transfers between bank accounts, leveraging the convenience and ease of use offered by smartphones.
  4. Fintech Innovation: The rise of fintech companies has introduced innovative digital payment solutions, offering users diverse and user-friendly options, from mobile wallets to peer-to-peer lending platforms.
  5. Cashback and Incentives: Digital payment platforms enticing users with cashback, discounts, and incentives have contributed to the widespread adoption of these methods, creating a mutually beneficial scenario for both consumers and service providers.
  6. E-commerce Growth: The flourishing e-commerce sector has significantly driven the surge in digital payments, as the demand for secure and convenient payment options continues to rise with increased online shopping activities.

Impact of UPI on India’s digital payments landscape

Unified Payments Interface has been a game-changer for India’s digital transactions, reshaping the way people engage in financial exchanges. The demonetization move in 2016 propelled UPI transactions from 2.9 million to an impressive 72 million within six months.

What makes UPI stand out is its user-friendly nature. By allowing payments through a Virtual Payment Address (VPA), UPI eliminates the need to share sensitive bank details. This streamlined process not only ensures convenience but also contributes to financial inclusion and transparency.

Market share of key UPI players

Data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) reveals the market shares of key UPI players. In October 2023, PhonePe accounted for 46%, Google Pay for 36%, and Paytm for 13% of UPI transaction volumes. Comparatively, in October 2022, PhonePe held 47%, Google Pay 34%, and Paytm approximately 15%. Regarding transaction value, PhonePe had a market share of 48%, Google Pay 34%, and Paytm 11% in October 2023.

Collectively, PhonePe, Google Pay, and Paytm dominated UPI transactions, constituting 94% by volume and 96% by value in March 2023, according to the Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning (CAFRAL)’s India Finance Report for FY23.

Amidst this transformative period, Google’s announcement to shut down Google Pay operations in the United States has raised questions about the future trajectory of digital payment platforms. However, Indian users can breathe a sigh of relief as the service continues without disruption in the country.

The future of digital payments: 2024 and beyond

Looking ahead, the Reserve Bank of India predicts a significant shift in transactional patterns, with Person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions expected to constitute 75% of all UPI transactions by 2025. Indian households are playing a pivotal role in this transition as the convenience of mobile phone payments has fueled the growth of P2M transactions, with 80% of transactions in groceries, food delivery, and travel now conducted through digital payment methods. The UPI Tap and Pay feature and the introduction of credit lines on the UPI are poised to significantly accelerate the adoption of digital payments.

The payments industry has seen widespread acceptance of solutions such as UPI, Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL). Popular among Gen Z and Millennials, BNPL has become a convenient financing option, allowing users to spread payments for purchases. Trends like e-Rupi, wearable payment devices, voice payments, and biometric payments are anticipated to boost customer experiences, fostering loyalty and digital spending.

With projections indicating growth in India’s digital payments market, consumers are anticipated to increasingly adopt convenient and secure technologies. Businesses that successfully incorporate these technologies into their payment strategies stand to benefit from streamlined operations, cost reduction and heightened customer satisfaction. The future of digital payments in India promises to be dynamic, with technology leading the charge towards a more efficient and secure financial landscape.

Image by Freepik

Read next: 100% of organizations prioritize digital trust, but safeguarding PII is a key challenge: DigiCert Report

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