The Digital Payments Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13. 7% over the forecast period 2021 to 2026. The demand for cashless payments, over cash, is being driven by greater convenience, favorable government policies, and evolving consumer behavior.
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The governments are also trying to reduce their cost of printing the currencies and counter the fake currency influx that disturbs the economic growth, with digitization, thereby, creating an environment conducive for cashless and digital payments.
- Furthermore, the rapid rise in smartphone penetration across emerging economies, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to have a positive impact on the market growth. Additionally, the introduction of mobile wallets across the world, wherein a consumer is asked to add money to the application and use it later within, or outside of, the merchant (if applicable), is rapidly propelling the adoption of digital payment services.
- The global demand for smartphones is increasing significantly and with technological advancements such as 5G are expected to further augment the global smartphone numbers. According to Ericsson, in 2019, the global smartphone subscriptions stood at 5.6 billion and are expected to reach 7.4 billion by 2025 or 84% of all the subscriptions.? This is another major driving force for the market.
- Furthermore, China is spending highly on payment services. For example, WeChat Pay allows a customer to pay quickly through in-app service and connected banks and book hotels, flights, trains, and buy movie tickets. As per ITU, the internet penetration was the highest in Japan, in January 2019, i.e., 93.4%, which is expected to continue, owing to favorable government norms and associated regulations. Currently, India has a relatively low penetration rate, as compared to Japan and China. However, this is expected to increase, owing to the rising smartphone users and government pushing toward digital payment wallet services.
- Facebook, through its WhatsApp application, is trying to offer digital payment services, and already tested it for mass release by Q4 2019. The number of users and transaction value of Chinese digital commerce surpassed that of the United States, owing to the Chinese digital payment service companies forming alliances across the world. WeChat and Alipay are few of the popular applications that the Chinese citizens use to pay for their expenses when they visit abroad.
- Retail stores and services across the world are rapidly adopting and integrating mobile payment applications, such as PayPal, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, AliPay, and WeChat Pay, to accept payments. Owing to changing lifestyles, daily commerce, and rapid growth in online retailing, this trend is expected to continue over the next six years.
- The increasing government initiatives, in order to promote the digital economy and curb the usage of cash, have resulted in increased transactions through e-wallets and point of sale machines. For instance, in July 2019, the Finance Ministry of India announced that no merchant discount rate (MDR) shall be imposed on merchants that allow their customers to make payments through ‘low-cost digital payment modes’.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to enforcement of social distancing, lockdowns and other measures across regions. This has further led consumers to increasingly depend on internet usage, online streaming of videos and films, and the most significant change in online shopping.
- The global nature of COVID-19 and its impact on e-commerce therefore is likely to encourage strengthened international cooperation and the further development of policies for online purchases and supply. The pandemic has made it clear that e-commerce can be an important tool/solution, especially considering the fact that the e-commerce sales can support small and medium businesses, that form backbone for certain economies.
Key Market Trends
Contactless Payment to Drive the Market Growth
- Contactless payment is an alternative payment channel. It uses short-range wireless technology, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC), to complete payments securely between contactless card and contactless-enabled PoS terminal.
- Factors driving the use of contactless payment include, but are not limited to, ease of use, faster, integrated, and seamless experience. For instance, contactless transactions take close to one-tenth of the time taken by the traditional electronic transaction. According to Capgemini, customer confidence in the security of contactless payments is increasing, with improved device security features, such as biometric and cryptography. In addition, customers can now use contactless payments for amounts up to GBP 30, without verification (or higher amounts with customer verification, such as a passcode or fingerprint), with a contactless-enabled payment terminal.
- Contactless payments are weeding out cash, as it is a simpler, more secure, and speedier mode of payment in comparison. In the United Kingdom, payment cards have experienced constant and sustained growth, and debit cards have recently taken over cash as the most popular form of payment. In the purchases, the use of payment cards has grown, and the same has been the case with the card-based contactless methods of payment.
- For instance, according to UK Finance, the contactless payments accounted for 38% of all in-store card payments in October 2017, which was up from 24% as of October 2016. Mobile contactless user base increased approximately to 450 million at the start of 2019. Also according to the same source, in December 2019, the value of contactless card transactions amounted to 7.4 billion British pounds in the United Kingdom, the highest value displayed during the period under observation.
- With the emergence of communication technology, such as NFC that consumes lesser power while active, the scope for the contactless payments has improved, as it tackles the issues of higher power consumption in other contactless cards. The widespread adoption of contactless payments in the United Kingdom was gradual, and presently, it has become the world leader for contactless payments. Moreover, in the United Kingdom, in 2018, one out of every three card payments was contactless.
India to Account for the Most Significant Share in Asia-Pacific
- Digital payments are a relatively new trend in India. However, it is growing at a fast pace due to favorable regulatory environment, infrastructure upgrades, high smartphone penetration, and subsidized data plans. ?
- The reason for high smartphone adoption is the launch of affordable phones by Chinese brands that offer flagship-grade features and capabilities. These brands’ target market is rural India, also, who are looking to upgrade their feature phones. Thus more Indians are relying on apps for facilities, such as grocery or fuel management. This is an enabler for mobile payments. ?
- Demonetization was a massive currency culling exercise taken up by the government in, which made 86% of the currency in circulation invalid. The step was taken to fight against black money, terror financing, and counterfeit currency. This was a major driving force for the adoption of digital payments. ?
- The Digital India program is a flagship program of the Government of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society. Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) is working on strengthening of Digital Payment infrastructure and creating awareness through promotions of digital payments. ?
The Digital Payments Market is moderately concentrated. The competitive rivalry in the market studied is moderate, as a good number of players prevail. Despite the existence of several companies in the market studied, firms are required to keep innovating their products, in order to gain a sustainable competitive edge over their rivals and provide product differentiation.
- April 2020 - Amazon India plans to give zero-interest credit to customers to buy products on its platform or pay bills, partnering with lenders, like Capital Float and Karur Vysya Bank, for the initiative. The service will allow consumers to purchase essentials on Amazon’s platform.
- April 2020 - Paytm Payments Bank partnered with Mastercard to issue virtual and physical debit cards. The deal will see the bank’s beta customers issued with cards in an initial rollout, followed by its entire user base in short order.
- Feb 2020 - Paypal Holdings Inc. announced to launch a peer-to-peer (P2P) payments feature in India. The service is based on Universal Payments Interface (UPI), India’s indigenous digital payments network, and will roll out in near future.
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