Mobile payments in India rose 163 percent in 2019, Google Pay and PhonePe led UPI payment apps: report

Card and UPI payments accounted for 21 per cent of $781 billion in in-store transactions in 2019

Highlights
  • Point-of-sale transactions using debit and credit cards, including online and in apps, rose just 24 percent to $204 billion
  • Card and mobile payments exceeded ATM withdrawals for the first time in 2019
  • Google Pay and PhonePe led UPI payments apps, accounting for more than two-thirds of UPI transactions in 2019

Mobile payments in India comprising account-to-account transfers and payments made from stored-value accounts witnessed a growth of 163 percent to $287 billion in 2019. In comparison, point-of-sale transactions using debit and credit cards, including online and in apps, rose just 24 percent to $204 billion, according to the S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 2020 India mobile payments market report. Card and mobile payments as a percentage of India’s GDP rose to 20 percent in the quarter ended December 31st, 2019

Furthermore, card and mobile payments exceeded ATM withdrawals for the first time in 2019. High growth rates in cashless payments seen in recent years are unlikely to repeat amid an economic slowdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, we expect mobile payments to be more resilient and will gain a bigger lead over card payments, as their uptake will accelerate due to ongoing social distancing measures and concerns over the usage of cash and plastic,” noted Sampath Sharma Nariyanuri, Fintech Analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

S&P Global Market Intelligence says that card purchases and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) mobile payments accounted for only 21 per cent of $781 billion in in-store transactions in 2019. Google Pay and PhonePe apps served over seven billion transactions in total, accounting for more than two-thirds of UPI transactions in 2019. Google and Amazon are already offering a greater breadth of payments in India compared to other markets such as the US, Germany, the UK and Japan. WhatsApp, which is again the US tech company owned by Facebook will look to dominate the online payment segment in India going forward.