While the pandemic resulted in people staying indoors for most of last year, it came as a huge boost to online payments.
Among the most interesting trends that emerged is the fact that the OTT segment witnessed an incredible 144 percent increase in the number of transactions with theatres and offline entertainment avenues remaining shut and a 139 percent increase in expenditure between 2019 and 2020.
The report by the online payment solutions provider PayU noted that states in North-Eastern have witnessed a huge increase in digital adoption.
The report maps the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown as seen through a year-on-year change in digital payments. The pandemic gave a huge boost to online payments, seen in the 24 percent increase in the number of transactions and 23 percent increase in expenditure across the PayU platform, year on year.
Interestingly, during the festive season (October to December 2020), there was a 45 percent spike in the number of online transactions vis-a-vis the same period in the previous year. In line with this trend, PayU processed close to 100 million transactions in a single month during the festive period (October 15 to November 15, 2020).
The number of UPI transactions grew by 288 percent and expenditure through UPI grew a phenomenal 331 percent between 2019 and 2020.
The North-Eastern States See Accelerated Digitisation
India saw the increased digital activity as small merchants and consumers went online, but the highest increase in the number of transactions was seen in India's Northeastern states -- Nagaland (93 percent), Meghalaya (82 percent), Manipur (74 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (66 percent) and Tripura (63 percent).
Pandemic Boosts E-commerce and Retail
In retail and e-commerce segments there was a massive 106 percent increase in the number of transactions and a 124 percent increase in expenditure between the first and last six months of 2020. The most likely explanations are increased adoption by Indians, including older users and consumers from smaller towns, to enforce social distancing norms. It could also account for the 115 percent increase in the number of transactions and a 126 percent increase in expenditure in the October-December period in 2019 and 2020, as Indians mostly conducted their festive shopping online.
"As a leader in the Indian digital payments industry, and the preferred partner for India's largest online businesses, PayU has a unique vantage point in capturing evolving year on year trends. It is a pioneer in driving value addition for merchants and banks through data insights, offering targeted solutions that allow them to deepen customer engagement and create actionable business strategies. PayU is committed to partnering with merchants to facilitate the adoption of digital infrastructure," said Hemang Dattani, Head, Data Intelligence, PayU.