According to reports published last year, Digital India represents a $1 Trillion opportunity to grow the economy through digital transformation, with the ability to sustain 55-60 million jobs.
The statistics below show the scale of India’s digital economy, and the massive opportunity for business and economic growth through digital transformation.
A new report by IBM and Kalaari Capital notes that the number of Internet users is expected to increase from the current 450 million to 850 million by 2022.
During this same period, use of mobile phones will spread from 65% to 90% of the country’s 1.32 billion population.
After the Digital India statistics, we’ll look at some stats for the Cashless India framework, and the cashless payment apps that are leading the charge of this movement towards a cash-free digital economy.
Digital India by the Numbers
Digital identity (Aadhar) – 1.2 billion
Internet users – 450 million
Mobile phone users – 1.18 billion
Smartphone users – 298 million devices and 468 million connections
Social media users – 250 million
Books – 0.7 million books in 70 languages in National Digital Library
Ration cards – 100% digitized
Govt eMarketplace (GEM 3.0) – 263,731 products by 105,889 sellers listed, with 22,598 buyer organizations
source – digitalindia.gov.in (Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India)
Cashless India framework
Core component of the Digital India programme, the Cashless India initiative was created with a vision of transforming India into “a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said in his budget speech that the government has a target of 2,500 crore digital transactions for this fiscal year. Total payments via digital instruments are expected to hit $500 billion by 2020.
None of the technology is new – banking cards, prepaid cards, POS machines, Internet and mobile banking, micro ATMs, etc. Were all already available for use by small businesses opting for cashless transactions. What’s relatively new are AEPS (Aadhar enabled payment system) and UPI (unified payments interface).
Under UPI, each bank is now able to provide it’s own mobile app for banking customers, under which they can combine multiple bank accounts, services, funds transfer and merchant payments.
AEPS allows online interoperable financial transaction at the Point of Sale or micro ATM, and this is what is enabling individuals and small businesses to go cashless and accept payments online and by card. The transaction can be done Aadhar to Aadhar, or as a cash withdrawal or deposit.
Cashless payment apps
Some stats about India’s cashless economy, which is still only at 5% of the total transactions.
Credit cards – 33.87 million
Debit cards – 826.3 million
PoS machines – 2.5 million
But it’s not the cards and PoS machines that are now driving the digital transactions. It’s the cashless payment apps that have seen huge surge in adoption following demonetisation.
BHIM – Bharat Interface for Money
Aadharpay – Merchant version of AEPS. Merchant simply has to download the Aadhar Pay app and connect biometric scan machine to it on their smartphone.
Paytm – Possibly India’s most popular cashless payments app, with over 280 million registered users and more than 5 million participating merchants.
Tez – Google’s payment app for businesses in India.
Rupay – Domestic card payment scheme launched by National Payments Corporation of India.
Paypal – World’s most well-known online payment system, used by over 17 million businesses.
Ikaaz – Mobile payments solution for enterprises and retail stores. Just tap and pay using your phone.
PhonePe – Flipkart group company that makes use of BHIM UPI to enable mobile payments.
There’s $1 trillion in digital growth in the works, and it’s only just beginning to flow through these apps. The real impact will be felt when small business India goes digital – when the retail stores and restaurants and markets (kirana, hotel and vegetable markets) and other daily use FMCG businesses, the plumbers and electricians and all the service providers who operate in cash – when all of them start going digital – Aadhar to Aadhar.