The Growing Indian Digital Payments Market

The Growing Indian Digital Payments Market

India's digital payment market is set to grow significantly, with a predicted increase from $200 billion to $1 trillion by 2023. Despite cash still dominating transactions, digital payment methods are becoming increasingly popular, driven by factors like demonetization and government support. Key players in this market include Paytm, Google Pay, WhatsApp, PhonePe, BHIM App, and other emerging contenders.


India is witnessing a remarkable shift towards digital payments, with mobile wallets gaining immense popularity. A market study by Credit Suisse Group AG projects that the Indian digital payments market will surge from $200 billion to $1 trillion by 2023. Currently, cash accounts for approximately 70% of all transactions by value in the country, indicating substantial untapped potential for digital payments. In contrast, China's mobile payments market already stands at a staggering $5 trillion.

Digital Payments Adoption Boost

The adoption of digital payments in India received a significant boost following the November 2016 demonetization exercise. The government's move to ban higher-denomination currency notes prompted citizens to turn to digital transactions. However, this trend waned as new currency notes were introduced.

Despite cash's continued prevalence, digital money and app-based wallets have gained acceptance among the tech-savvy youth. Generous cashback, discounts, and incentives have further encouraged their usage. The Indian government's openness to foreign investments has led to numerous mobile payment platform launches by global technology and financial corporations.

Leading Companies in the Indian Digital Payment Industry


  • Ownership: Operated by One97 Communications Ltd.
  • Overview: Paytm remains the most popular mobile payment platform in India, benefiting greatly from demonetization.
  • Investors: Funded by Alibaba Group, Ant Financial Services Co., and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Google Pay

  • Overview: Google Pay, previously known as Google Tez, boasts more than 22 million monthly active users and has been active in India since September 2017.
  • Features: Offers instant loans with minimal paperwork.
  • Rebranding: Part of Google's effort to unify global payment offerings.

WhatsApp Payments

  • Overview: WhatsApp, a subsidiary of Facebook Inc., offers limited mobile payment services.
  • User Base: Capitalizing on its extensive user base in India.
  • Challenges: Mandated to host data locally and combat the spread of fake news and illicit content.


  • Ownership: Owned by Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart, now under Walmart Inc.
  • Popularity: Gaining traction with over 133 million downloads.
  • Promotions: Attracts users with cashback and discounts on Flipkart purchases.


  • Overview: Launched by the Indian government, BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is built on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
  • Features: Allows transactions through virtual or disposable accounts.
  • Target Audience: Aimed at non-tech-savvy users in rural India.
  • Downloads: Surpassed 32 million downloads since its launch.

Other Players

  • India Post Payments Bank (IPPB): Launched by the government, it offers banking services at post offices across the country.
  • Jio Money: Backed by the Jio telecom network, it has the potential for wider penetration.
  • Mobikwik: A homegrown contender similar to Paytm.
  • Amazon Pay: Expanding its reach, primarily for Amazon purchases and bill payments.


India's digital payment landscape is evolving rapidly, driven by factors like demonetization and government support. Established players like Paytm and emerging contenders like Google Pay and WhatsApp are competing fiercely to gain market share. With significant growth expected in the coming years, the Indian digital payments market presents lucrative opportunities for both domestic and global players.

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)
Google Pay
WhatsApp Payments
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