It’s no secret that digital payments through UPI, credit and debit cards and Bharat BillPay have been on the rise in the last one year with the Covid-19 pandemic making social distancing necessary. But what are the top categories for Indians when they spend digitally?

Insights shared by payment companies reveal that the purpose of digital payments have changed in the past one year and they are not only being used to buy essentials like groceries and pay bill but even for purchasing jewellery and home decor. And with the surge in infections and localised lockdowns, digital payments are gaining more popularity, players say.


Data with Pine Labs for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 indicate that gems and jewellery has witnessed a 20 per cent increase in transaction value and 9 per cent rise in transaction volume growth compared to the third quarter. Furniture and home décor have shown higher growth in tier-IV cities with 52 per cent growth between the fourth quarter of 2020-21 compared to the corresponding period in 2019-20.

“UPI transaction ticket size has been on the rise indicating that adoption of UPI is on the rise as more costlier items are being now bought via UPI as people have started to trust in the technology,” Pine Labs said.

According to RazorPay, online transactions on its platform in January-February-March 2021 saw a growth of 76 per cent compared to a year ago, indicating a large-scale digital adoption by both businesses and consumers .

Travel industry

Travel industry has made a comeback with a 52 per cent growth in January-March 2021 compared to the same period a year ago. In the last few months, consumers have increasingly been ordering online and with that F&B industry witnessed growth of 69 per cent in January to March 2021, it further said.

Amongst means of digital payments, UPI continued to be the preferred payment option followed by debit cards, credit cards and net banking.

“Payment options such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) saw a whopping growth of 569 per cent in the last 12 months, owing to consumers avoiding bulk payments and preferring affordable payment modes,” it further said.

OTT segment

A report by online payments solution provider PayU revealed that the OTT segment witnessed a growth of 144 per cent in the number of transactions and a 139 per cent increase in expenditure between 2019 and 2020. The gaming segment registered 100 per cent increase in expenditure and a 154 per cent increase in average ticket size between the two years, it said.

Another notable area was Edtech with 78 per cent growth in the number of transactions and a 44 per cent increase in expenditure between 2019 and 2020. The most likely explanations are professionals upskilling as they worked from home and students shifting to online education, it said.

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