India is now, one of the world's largest digital payments markets

26th December 2021
India is now, one of the world's  largest digital payments markets

Tech in 2022 - 6
Continuing our series of  tech forecasts for the new year, by industry experts
Akash Sinha, co-Founder & CEO, Cashfree Payments,  discusses trends in the  digital payments space and  the outlook for 2022.
December 2021: The year 2021 has been remarkable, as the digital payments industry crossed multiple milestones. With over 1.16 billion wireless telecom subscriptions, the world’s second-largest internet population, nearly 1.5 billion cards, and many innovative digital payment modes, India is poised to be one of the largest and the fastest-growing digital payments markets in the world. 
According to Reserve Bank of India  data, Rs 2,326.02 crore digital payments were recorded in FY19, which increased to Rs 3,400.25 crore in FY20. By FY21, the volume of digital transactions had increased to Rs 4,374.45 crore. Data indicates that the sharpest growth of all has been seen by UPI, which accounts for nearly half the volume of digital payments. The numbers also indicate increasing adoption of digital payments owing to growth in various sectors such as telecom, healthcare, IT, retail, automobile and agriculture. 
While the shift to digital payments is not new, it has seen a steady rise over the past two years. The Covid-19 pandemic had made many take to digital payments during the lockdown in 2020 resulting in the volumes as well as value of transactions showing a strong growth. Amid Covid-19, India was home to the highest number of real-time online transactions in 2020 ahead of countries such as China and the US. The good part is that the change in payment habits appears to be more permanent as digital payments have continued the same pace of growth in 2021, compared with 2020.
 India’s journey of creating a digital financial infrastructure has been characterized by collaboration between the government, the regulator, banks, and fintechs. 2021 saw several productive decisions being made on the regulatory front across various domains such as tokenisation, UPI on feature phones, and offline payments – clearing the path for an exciting time ahead. 
As the economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and consumer behaviour shifts to a less-cash society, the adoption of digital payment modes will continue to touch new highs.
We foresee the following trends in 2022: 
-Mobile devices will continue to be one of the most preferred modes for making digital payments and promoting card tokenization and QR-based solutions
- The boundaries between banks, fintechs and technology players are likely to diminish, and players can utilise suitable opportunities to move up the value chain and expand their revenue pools 
-We will see an increasing role of APIs and BaaS-based solutions that will further provide convenience to customers across sectors
-The adoption of digital payments in metro and tier I cities is strong. We should see banks, fintechs and regulators focusing on developing products to attain similar success in semi-urban and rural areas of the country
-We envisage that UPI payments through feature phones will be one of the biggest game changers in 2022. Exploratory activities around digital currencies will provide customers with an alternative to cash
Cashfree Payments is a leading payment and API banking solutions company. It provides full-stack payments solutions enabling businesses in India to collect payments and make payouts via all available methods with simple integration. It was founded by IIIT Hyderabad alumnus Akash Sinha and IIT Kharagpur graduate Reeju Datta,.