Digital India: India leads in Digital Payments

The UK based payments system company ACI recently released a report on digital payments. According to the report, India has the highest number of real-time online transactions in 2020.

Key Findings of the Report

  • The Digital payment market of India is led by Paytm, PhonePe, BharatPe, Pine Labs, etc.
  • The UPI (Unified Payment Interface) transaction increased by 18.7% in March 2021 as compared to February 2021. In February 2021, the UPI transaction was Rs 4.25 lakh crores and in March 2021, it was Rs 5.05 lakh crores.
  • India was ahead of China, US, South Korea, UK, Thailand in number of online transactions.
  • According to the report, the share of electronic transactions in India will exceed 50% by 2024.

How did COVID-19 accelerate India’s digitisation?

  • According to Reserve Bank of India, India is now clocking around 100 million digital transactions in a day. This is five times as compared to that in 2016. Much of these transactions are powered by UPI.
  • The acceleration of India’s digitisation during COVID-19 was mostly through JAM. JAM is Jan Dhan Aadhaar Mobile. The JAM trinity was proposed by Economic Survey 2014-15. It is an initiative to link Jan Dhan accounts, Aadhar cards and mobile numbers. JAM played the role of safety net during lockdown.
  • During COVID-19, several e-retailers requested payments via digital mechanisms which is contactless and also reduces the risk of spread of the virus. This was another major reason for the increase of digital transactions during COVID-19.
  • India also moved towards UPI from card segment for money transactions during COVID-19 times. UPI touched new highs every month during COVID-19.
  • Looking at the promising digital growth in India, Google announced an additional investment of 10 billion USD in India to provide internet access to the country.

Challenges in Digital Transformation in India

  • Most of the central digital services function in Hindi or English. With India being highly diverse in culture, more services should be launched in local languages. Launching digital services in multiple languages is one of the main objectives of Google’s 10 billion USD investment plan.
  • Unreliable performance and poor technical support, poor web or mobile application designs are creating loss of faith and confidence in government digital channels.


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