One in three Indian households now use digital payments

Digital payments adoption in India 2020 report cover
ADOPTION: Research shows that digital payment is becoming increasingly popular among Indian consumers

A third of Indian households across a range of income groups now use digital payment methods, but “this can easily go up to 50% given high desire to use,” research from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) reveals.

“The study showed that while one in two of India’s richest 20% households use digital payment, as many as one out of four households in the poorest 40% also use it,” NPCI says.

“In addition, there is a suppressed demand of people who say they desire to use it but need someone to show them how to, and a smaller group who used it earlier and discontinued.

“If this ‘ready’ demand is enabled through effective training and education, then over half of all Indian households (54% or 151m households) will become digital payment users — 55m of these households will come from the poorest 40% of Indian households, 61m will come from middle India or [the] middle 40% income band and only 36m will come from the richest 20%.”

The research also shows that 68% of those participating own a smartphone and that “smartphone ownership is no longer a bottleneck for the adoption of digital payments”.

Awareness of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and payments apps was also revealed to be at “a very high level” and that “the banking system is also very well connected digitally to respondents via Aadhaar linkages and SMS facility even at the lower income groups”.


“The report clearly establishes that in India today digital payments have gone well past the early adoption stage and have gained significant traction across the country, including the lower income groups,” says NPCI’s Praveena Rai.

“We learn from the report that though smartphone ownership is high, there is still a significant chunk of consumers who do not as yet have them.

“We at NPCI are already working towards offering non-smartphone users a sustainable digital payment solution and provide them [with an] easy, safe and instant payments experience as well.”

The research was carried out with more than 5,000 households across 25 Indian states.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.

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