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OFFICIAL: Worldline releases the India Annual Digital Payments Report 2021

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  • Total number of cards in circulation breached the one billion mark in 2021
  • UPI clocked over 4.57 billion transactions in volume in 2021, growth of 105% YoY, value of Rs 8.2 lk cr up 111% YoY
  • Mobile app based transactions recorded a 106% growth in volume YoY
  • Internet based payments volume registered an uptick of 14% YoY
  • Average ticket size of credit cards in 2021 was Rs 4122, up 12% YoY
  • Average ticket size of debit cards in 2021 was Rs 1804, down 29% YoY
  • HDFC bank, SBI and ICICI bank Top banks to issue Credit cards
  • SBI, BOB and Paytm Payments Bank Top banks to issue Debit cards.

Worldline India has released its annual Digital Payments Report, it analyses transactions available in public databases as well as transactions processed by Worldline India in the calendar year 2021 and derived some unique insights.

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Card Issuance

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The total number of cards in circulation breached the one billion mark in 2021 with 1006.7 million cards recorded as of December 2021. Outstanding credit cards increased by 14% from 60.39 million in December 2020 to 68.95 million in December 2021 while outstanding debit cards increased by 6% from 886.41 million to 937.75 million during the same period. It is however not clear how many of these cards, particularly debit, are active and whether they are being used for payments and not cash withdrawals.

Out of the total cards in circulation, credit cards represented a 7% market share while debit cards accounted for 93%. In the Credit card market, Private sector banks represent 67% of cards issued while Public sector banks account for 24%.

1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0HDFC Bank, SBI and ICICI bank were the Top banks to issue Credit cards. HDFC Bank emerged as the top credit card issuer as soon as the RBI lifted the ban pertaining to issuing new credit cards after 8 months.

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1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0In the Debit card market, Private sector banks accounted for 21% while Public sector banks accounted for 68%; a not altogether surprising number since public sector banks have been at the forefront of opening Jan Dhan accounts etc. Issuance of RuPay cards under the PMJDY scheme also accounted for the increase in Debit card issuance. In 2021, 68 Million Debit cards were issued under the scheme. SBI, BOB and Paytm Payments Bank were the Top banks to issue Debit cards.

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Transaction analysis of Credit cards:

In 2021, Credit cards volume and value stood at 2.15 billion and INR 8.88 trillion respectively. The number of credit card transactions at POS accounted for 1.08 billion while e-commerce was 1.06 billion. In terms of value, consumers transacted INR 3.67 trillion at POS and INR 5.21 trillion at ecommerce via credit cards in 2021.

Even though credit cards volume at POS and ecommerce are nearly equal, the value of ecommerce transactions is significantly higher as compared with the value of transactions at POS. This is in line with the general trend of transactions moving from the physical to the digital space since the start of the pandemic. In 2021, the Average Ticket Size of credit cards was INR 4122 as compared to INR 3653 in 2020.

Transaction analysis of Debit Cards

1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0In 2021, debit card transactions volume and value stood at 4.12 billion and INR 7.42 trillion respectively. Out of the total debit card volume, transactions at POS were 2.37 billion and ecommerce were 1.75 billion. In terms of value, INR 4.59 trillion was processed at POS terminals while INR 2.83 trillion was processed at e-commerce via debit cards.

The Average Ticket Size of debit cards in the year 2021 was INR 1804 against INR 2568 in 2020. Though the Average Ticket Size and transaction value of credit cards are higher than debit cards, the latter remains the preferred mode of payment among consumers thanks to its huge outstanding base. An interesting point to note is that credit cards seem to be preferred more than debit cards when it came to spending online.

Unified Payments Interface

1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0In 2021, UPI clocked over 4.57 billion transactions in volume and breached INR 8.2 trillion in terms of value. It recorded a 105% increase in volume and a 111% increase in value as compared to 2020. In the last quarter of 2021, UPI recorded close to a 100% increase in volume and a 98% increase in value as compared with the same period of the previous year.

In December 2021, out of total UPI volumes, 62% of transactions were P2P (Person-to-Person) while 38% were P2M (Person-to Merchant). The average Ticket size of UPI P2M in 2021 was INR 786. 75 banks joined the UPI ecosystem in 2021 bringing the total number of banks providing UPI services to 282. NPCI’s BHIM App was available for customers of 216 banks.

BHIM app downloads stood over 185 million as of October 29, 2021. SBI, HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank and Union Bank were the top UPI Remitter banks in December 2021 while Paytm Payments Bank, State Bank of India, YES Bank, ICICI Bank and

Axis Bank were the top beneficiary bank w.r.t UPI volumes. In December 2021, NPCI enhanced the per transaction value limit of UPI to INR 5 lakh for Retail Direct Scheme and UPI based ASBA IPO. It is pertinent to note that UPI P2M transactions have significantly eaten into the share of card and other payment modes

Merchant Acquiring

1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0The POS terminal deployment has seen steady growth throughout the year. As of December 2021, the total number of POS terminal deployed by merchant acquiring banks were 5.49 million, up by over 16% after the POS terminal base witnessed correction in numbers between January and February 2021; the RBI included a more accurate POS terminal deployment count.

As of December 2021, the total number of Bharat QRs were 4.65 million, a 45% rise as compared to December 2020.

1?ui=2&ik=1177397161&attid=0.0One of the major factors contributing to the growth of the physical payments acceptance ecosystem was the Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme by the RBI. As of September 2021, the number of physical payment acceptance devices deployed under the PIDF Scheme was 0.245 million while digital devices were over 5.53 million.

Overall, Private sector banks represent about 69% of the POS terminal market while Public sector banks account for 24%. Payments banks accounted for 6% market share, and foreign banks continue to represent 1% share.

Top POS deployers: HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, RBL Bank, Paytm Payments Bank, Union Bank of India are the top acquiring banks with significant market share in terms of POS deployment. By the end of 2021, Axis Bank witnessed a growth of over 77% as compared with the previous year in terms of POS market share while Paytm Payments Bank emerged to be amongst the top banks deploying POS terminals.

Deepak Chandnani, Managing Director, Worldline South Asia & Middle East said, Consumers are embracing digital payments like never before. While the industry has been successful in creating a habit-forming bouquet of e-payment options like UPI, Cards, PPIs and emerging payment modes like Bharat BillPay, NETC FAST tags among others, the acceptance infrastructure is now gradually sprouting.

Worldline India Insights

In 2022, frequently visited physical merchant categories like grocery stores, restaurants, clothing and apparel, pharmacy and medical, hotels, jewellery retail, speciality retail, household appliances and departmental stores together accounted for over 60% in terms of volume and about 58% in terms value. October and December were the months with the highest number of transactions in volume and value owing to the festive quarter and Covid19 relaxations observed across the country.

In the online space, e-commerce (shopping for goods and services), gaming, utility & financial services contributed to over 87% of transactions in terms of volume and 41% in value in 2021.

Other Insights from the report.

Top 10 states with the highest number of transactions at physical touchpoints in CY21 for Worldline India:

1. Maharashtra

2. Tamil Nadu

3. Karnataka

4. Andhra Pradesh

5. Kerala

6. Gujarat

7. Delhi

8. Uttar Pradesh

9. Telangana

10. West Bengal

Top 10 cities with the highest number of transactions at physical touchpoints in CY21 for Worldline India:

1. Hyderabad

2. Bengaluru

3. Chennai

4. Mumbai

5. Pune

6. Delhi

7. Kolkata

8. Coimbatore

9. Ahmedabad

10. Vadodara

Read: How did UPI flip the fate of Indian Digital Payment? Read these 6 undeniable factors!

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Rahul Roy
Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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