Payments Tracker - July 2021

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July 21, 2021

We have published our monthly Payments Tracker. This is one of the four ‘Data Reports’ we publish. The report has over 40 charts covering trends in various modes of Payments both in aggregate and at a Bank level. While the full report is for subscribers only, a couple of interesting trends are highlighted below:  


Sharp divergence between Payments and Transactions: Relative to the same period in 2019, non-Cash Payments are still materially lower. In May, non-cash Payments were 25% lower while in April they were 15% lower. However, non-cash transactions in April and May are 70% higher relative to the same period in 2019. This reflects the fact that the country was amid the second wave of Covid during Apri-May this year, and business activity was severely disrupted, though not to the same extent as in 2020. In contrast end consumption, which is higher volume but lower value, was not as severely impacted. Indeed, retail payments could have seen some shift towards digital modes of transactions in lieu of cash.  



Source: RBI, NPCI 


Debit Cards seem to be losing out due to the rise in UPI: The installed base of Debit cards was already very high but most of the cards were either dormant or being used to just withdraw cash from ATMs. Debit Cards as a mode of payment started to gain popularity post demonetisation. In 2015, share of Debit Cards in Retail Digital payments was just 1.7% but it rose to 2.5% in 2017. But post this rise, its share in retail digital payments has consistently fallen – from 2.5% in CY2017 to 2.2% in CY19 and further to 1.7% in the first 5 months of 2021. Will Debit Cards eventually go back and serve their old function – to simply withdraw cash from ATMs?  



Source: RBI, NPCI 


The rise of PhonePe: PhonePe and Google Pay are the dominant UPI Apps. These two apps together account for 85% of the payments processed by all UPI Apps. PayTM is a distant third at less than 10% share and all other apps including those from individual banks cumulatively account for less than 10% of all UPI Payments. Earlier this year NPCI capped the market share of each app in the UPI ecosystem at 30% and it allowed existing apps a period of 2 years (till March-2023) to bring their share down to this level.  


And while the share of Google Pay has reduced in recent months – from a peak of 46% in June 2020 to 37% in June 2021 – that of PhonePe has increased. PhonePe’s market share has increased from 41% in June 2020 to 47% in June 2021. 



Source: NPCI 


About our Reports 

Payments Report is one of the four ‘Data’ reports we publish. Our data reports curate the most relevant indicators for a topic and present them in a neatly laid out visual format. We add short commentary to these reports to provide you with context and relevance for the data. The other reports that we publish cover Banking, Startups and the Economy. Except for the Startups report, the other reports are published monthly. Over the next few months, we will add reports on more topics.  


You can download the samples for each of them from here. 


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