Thanks to continued lockdown starting from Mar. ‘20 and a continued partial unlock all through the year, even the smallest and nondescript of retail merchants such as tea shops, roadside vegetable vendors all the way to neighbourhood grocery stores started accepting digital currency, even as consumers preferred to transact without touching “currency notes”, which due to their nature of changing hands too often, have higher chances of carrying the Coronavirus as well as other such infectious diseases. The total number of PoS Terminal installed in the country grew from 4.98 mn in Dec. ‘19 to 5.74 mn units in Dec. ‘20, an increase of 15% YoY.
While spends on credit cards contributed only 10% by volume, the transaction value from such cards accounted for 28% of all digital payments during FY2020. Similarly, the volume of spends on Debit cards were 23% as against a value of 40%. A decade back, these figures were much lesser for the value with much lesser penetration of plastic cards which are issued by the likes of Mastercard, Visa and American Express on behalf of Nationalised and Private Banks in India as well as from international banks such as Citi Bank, American Express and HSBC. These and other such interesting insights were shared in the Q1FY2021 report released by Worldline, the European Leader in payments and transactional services.
Private Sector Banks contributed to 71% of all PoS Terminal issued while Public Sector Banks contributed to 25% and the rest issued by Foreign Banks and Payment Banks such as PayTM, Phonepay, BharatPe, G-Pay among others.
Debit Cards in circulation outnumbered Credit Cards by 15 times going by the data presented by Worldline. There were 886 mn active Debit cards in India as compared to 60 mn Credit cards, clearly indicating India and Indian’s aversion to borrowed capital for spending on discretionary as well as non-discretionary spends while the loan book for purchase of personal and commercial assets such as automobiles and homes is on the rise. The fact that consumers prefer to spend using their Debit Cards – that there is present cash in the bank – as against a future income, akin to spending habits of the Western world, is representative of India’s large, aspiring, middle class population with a savings-led lifestyle.
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are among the top states in India which have the highest number of digital transactions at Grocery stores, Apparel retail stores, fashion, jewellery, footwear, QSRs and fine dining restaurants among others. Bangalore city leads from the front followed by Chennai and Mumbai as the top cities in the country to accept credit and debit cards, UPI, digital wallets among others. The full report can be accessed here.