PayU, India's leading online payments solution provider, released the PayU Insights Report on Tuesday, providing a comparative analysis of lockdown periods in 2020 and 2021, as seen through changes in digital payments transactions across the platform.
Year on year, there has been a 52 per cent increase in the number of transactions and a 76 per cent increase in expenditure (May 2020 vs. May 2021).
Compared to pre lockdown months, there was a 10 per cent increase in the number of transactions post lockdown 2021, and a 21 per cent decrease in average ticket size indicating that users are adopting online payments even for smaller size transactions.
Among the key insights of the report, online donations to charitable causes reach an all-time high in lockdown 2.0
Digital payments for charitable causes witnessed a massive 731 per cent increase in the number of transactions, a 2308 per cent increase in expenditure, and a 128 per cent increase in average ticket size vis a vis pre-lockdown months in 2021.
Compared to lockdown 1.0, the number of transactions and expenditure increased by 575 per cent and 476 per cent in lockdown 2.0. As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, numerous donation campaigns were organised by NGOs and crowdsourcing platforms to raise funds for Covid relief.
In lockdown 2.0, the logistics sector recorded a 217 per cent increase in the number of transactions and a 227 per cent increase in expenditure, compared to lockdown 1.0.
Interestingly, the logistics sector also maintained a steady 59 per cent growth in the number of transactions and a 57 per cent increase in expenditure compared to the months before lockdown 2.0. This could be attributed to larger usage of courier delivery services and purchase and transfer of essential items during the May 2021 period.
The entertainment sector suffered from the impact of the second wave of the pandemic, as there was a 35 per cent decline in the number of transactions, a 41 per cent decrease in expenditure, and an 11 per cent decline in average ticket size in lockdown 2.0 vis a vis pre-lockdown 2.0.
Gaming sector too showed a complete reversal of trends, with healthy growth in 2020 but decline in 2021. During lockdown 2.0, the number of transactions and expenditure decreased by a sizeable 63 per cent, compared to pre-lockdown months. Whereas in lockdown 1.0 there had been an increase in the number of transactions.
This could be because consumers moved away from non-essential spending, cancellation of IPL 2021, and general muting of sentiments during this phase.
Lockdown 2.0 recorded phenomenal growth for UPI as a payment mode. The number of transactions through UPI increased by 320 per cent and expenditure increased by 306 per cent in lockdown 2.0, compared to lockdown 1.0. The next highest growth in modes of payment was observed in credit card transactions, as the number of transactions increased by 87 per cent and expenditure increased by 69 per cent year on year. For net banking and debit card modes, the number of transactions grew by 12 per cent and 6 per cent respectively year on year.
For travel, the number of transactions grew by 186 per cent, and expenditure by 125 per cent between lockdown 1.0 and 2.0. This is understandable, as travel rose once the economy opened and restrictions eased during a staggered lockdown. However, immediately after the lockdown in 2021, there was a 65 per cent drop in transactions and a 78 per cent drop in expenditure.
Commenting on the PayU Insights Report, Hemang Dattani, Head - Data Intelligence, PayU said "Broadly, businesses and consumers were better prepared to deal with the exigencies of lockdown in 2021. Given that the lockdown was staggered and geographically restricted, the growth of digital payments has been steady, especially for sectors like retail, logistics & pharma".