The hotbed debate of online vs offline might see an exceptional drift this year as not just shoppers but online payment merchants too, are enjoying the splurge in their numbers. The payment landscape in the country is at a point of inflexion. The preference of transacting online is increasing day by day. Mushrooming of online marketplaces has forced Indian shopaholics to transact online. The trend has also created a stir among all those small medium retailers (SMEs) that earlier refrained from online payments.
The preference of using cash, giving cheques or demand drafts etc. are falling dramatically and Indian payment market is seeing a generational shift in terms of payments. The year 2015 saw a huge spike in mobile wallet users to that of mobile banking. Mobile wallets transactions such as online shopping, ticket bookings, phone recharge, booking cabs etc quadrupled to almost 400 million during April- November 2015.
Commenting on the same, Anupam Pahuja, General Manager, Paypal Technology- APAC said, “This entire space is rife for disruption whether it is Apple Pay, whether it is Paypal or somebody. It is bound to happen in the next five years that is my forecast.”
“Every time a customer bought a product for Rs. 100, he paid Rs 2 of that to a bank,” he added.
Capitalising on the trend, many online payment merchants along with telecom majors such as Airtel and Vodafone etc. are now eyeing at payment bank license. With increasing bank accounts, the payment industry and mobile banking transactions are predicted to skyrocket. This hike in mobile transactions is being backed by the increasing smartphone penetration in the country. Digital payment aggregators such as FreeCharge, Paytm and Mobikwik have changed the definition of financial transactions and the millennials have welcomed it with open hands.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder, Paytm, says “Led by the smartphone revolution, digital payments have become a very popular in India. We have seen large amount of consumer payments now being done through mobiles.”
“Business-to-business transactions use cheques or drafts. Like we saw in the smartphone growth, once consumers are familiar with wallet-led digital payments, enterprises and corporates also embrace it soon,” he added.
For the fact that we are still a cash-driven economy, digital payment will need time to become a mainstream phenomenon in India. But looking at the present scenario it won’t wrong to say that digital transaction is surely the future as India, with all its forces, is affirmative towards its ‘Digital India’ initiative.
Products or services on these online platforms are being sold at the bottom of barrel prices which is luring customers from all age group. This has made the way for more online transactions and proves that digital transaction, not only in terms of saving time but also regarding rich shopping experience, is certainly the need of the hour.