Around 56 per cent of total new internet users will be from rural India by 2025, according to a report by TransUnion CIBIL, which said that currently 36 per cent of digital payment users hail from rural parts of the country.

The growing adoption is being driven by the fact that 52 per cent of the country’s population is under 40 years of age, higher than the global average of 46 per cent. Further, of the 6.7 crore IT returns filed in FY23, over 2 crore were filed by Gen Z, the report said, adding that individual EPFO accounts too have seen two-fold growth over the last 10 years.

This “financially influential young workforce,” combined with a robust digital infrastructure and boost in the digital economy, is expected to accelerate India’s digital journey, it said.

The report, prepared with insights from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC), focuses on the transformative effects of the digitalisation of credit and payments on evolving consumer behaviours.

Digital infra

India has emerged as the global leader in the creation and adoption of digital infrastructure and the third-largest in terms of its fintech ecosystem.

The country is at the top spot in terms of a unique identity programme, with 130 crore people enrolled under Aadhaar, and in terms of volumes of digital transactions, with 7,400 UPI transactions being undertaken in 2022.

The country also saw 2,800 crore app downloads during 2022, accounting for 5 per cent of global app downloads — the second highest in the world. It also has 120 crore wireless phone subscribers, of whom 45 per cent are in rural geographies, 76 crore active internet users, of whom 53 per cent are in rural areas.

Online shopping

Over one-third of Indians own a smartphone, the number of which stands at over 67 crore. Of these, 53 crore were net-commerce users, and 26 crore shopped online in 2022, the report said.

It added that growth is also seen as being led by the rising scale of digital finance, more and more use cases for digital finance, and accelerated financial inclusion.