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Indian P2P payments projected to outstrip cash use in 2022

23 June 2021

Cash, historically dominant in India, clung to its top ranking among payment methods for a year longer than expected because of Covid-related disruption, but the latest India cards and digital payments report from Verisk Financial Research expects mobile-based P2P to move swiftly into the top spot this year.

As the trajectories in the chart below show, cash is unlikely to ever dominate this market again. A burgeoning telecommunication industry, dynamic regulatory environment and successful payments infrastructure have set the stage for a boom in consumer payments. Indeed, Google has written a letter to the US Federal Reserve about India's scalable architecture for payments, suggesting that it could be replicated in the United States.

While a two-pronged approach of regulation and infrastructure has certainly been the major factor, the impact of the pandemic has fast-forwarded the future of payments, propelling it into the spotlight.

It had been expected that cash would relinquish its dominating position after 2019, but a Covid quandary then occurred whereby Indians opted to hoard cash, causing circulation to temporarily increase. However, we consider this to be an anomaly and, as early as next year, forecast that cash will lose its top spot here to mobile payments.


Card use is steadily growing among the population, but the rapid growth in mobile payments suggests that cards are being leapfrogged as a developmental milestone.

The vast majority of mobile payments lie within the app-based P2P sector. Mobile payment firms are all trying to build a critical mass of users on their apps in order to roll out payment methods that can be more easily monetised – such as the QR code.

This gamble could well pay off as the QR acceptance infrastructure already dwarfs that of traditional POS terminals and QR is now the prevalent technology for payments at the POS in terms of transactions. Add to this a zero-fee policy for the method and a regulatory requirement to make all QR codes interoperable by 2022, and the future of QR code looks extremely bright in this market.

India is a rapidly-evolving payments space which offers strong indications of how payments will develop in other developing markets in that region and even around the world.

Verisk Financial Research's India Country Report is available to order now and includes 89 pages of detailed data on and insightful analysis of consumer payments, mobile payments, card issuing, acquiring, and more. To request a sample or no-obligation demonstration, please contact us.

Country Report Round Up Insert
Payments reports: September 2021
The focus in the world of cards and payments has now moved firmly towards profitability. We analyse the opportunities and threats afforded by evolving consumer
Chart for MAAP QR smartphones
Tech potential for Asia-Pacific
Historically dormant long-tail opportunities for smaller sized enterprises are being picked up across the Asia Pacific region and presenting a challenge to cards-based
India Payments Chart 2
Indian P2P payments growth
Cash has been historically dominant in India but the latest cards and digital payments report from Verisk Financial Research expects mobile-based P2P to move swiftly
Russians turn to mobile payments
As Russians increase their usage of bank cards and mobile payments, cash is starting to decline. Authorities are encouraging mobile payments and actively exploring
Merchant Acquirer Report MALA 2020 Background
Latin America acquirer growth
Latin America has enjoyed strong growth in merchant acquiring volumes over the past few years. This trend will probably persist with card usage spurred by contactless
NAMA image
North America acquiring expands
Acquirers and processors continue to post impressive growth in revenue. Although margins are thin and shrinking the overall payments pie continues to expand.
Hong Kong signs
Hong Kong's digital drive
Although Hong Kong consumers have been sophisticated users of credit cards for a long time, cash use has persisted. Authorities are now committed to a push for digitalisation.
Western Europe image
The potential of Western Europe
Western Europe's merchant acquiring market is one of the most competitive in the world. Despite the challenges, the market consolidates at pace through mergers
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Turkey cards industry well placed
Longstanding curbs in Turkey on rollover behaviour should stand the credit cards market in good stead as pressures on the economy grow, says a report from Verisk

About Verisk Financial Research The market-leading online, interactive database and data dashboards covering the global cards and payments industry in detail, plus a range of data-packed country and regional reports. Leveraging financial cards data going back to 2010 – and forecasts up to 2022 – our unique datasets cover 72 countries around the world and feature more than 250 metrics per market.

Find out more: contact us at research_enquiries@verisk.com.