Travel expenditure grows 165%; OTT expenditure grows 80% during festive season: PayU Insights Report

-Close to 7mn transactions processed in one day as major brands announce sales on same day -Credit Repayment via UPI mode sees 251% growth in expenditure and 172% growth in transactions

New Delhi: 15 November 2022: PayU unveiled its Insights Report – Festive edition today which compares digital payment transaction trends on the PayU platform between the festive seasons of 2021 and 2022*. 2022 saw a 64% increase in expenditure & 31% increase in the number of transactions vis-à-vis festive sale period in 2021. Moreover, the report also mapped the overall pandemic impact on Indians’ adoption of digital payments for the festive period. There has been a 245% increase in expenditure & 130% increase in the number of transactions between the ‘normal’ period of 2019 & post-pandemic period of 2022.


Key insights for 2022 vis-a-vis 2021

India’s strong credit preference

Credit cards were the most preferred mode of payment this season. Interestingly, credit card users spent about 5 times more than debit card users in 2022 (total expenditure), in spite of the fact that there is 1 credit card for every 12 debit cards. On an average, a credit card user spent Rs. 6000 as opposed to a debit card user who spent Rs. 2500, in 2022. Year on year, credit card transactions and expenditures grew 42% and 84%, respectively. One reason could be banks offering cashback, reward points, discounts, deals & add-on services on cobranded cards & standalone cards.


The appetite for credit is also reflected in the fact that credit repayment (i.e. personal loans for consumers & businesses) saw a 107% increase in expenditure & 105% increase in transactions over the last festive season. One of the highest categories for UPI spending was Credit Repayment, showing that Indians are increasingly repaying personal loans using UPI. Not surprisingly, debit card transactions declined by 34 %.

PayU Insights Report

Revenge tourism is the rage

Whether motivated by revenge tourism or the extended Diwali weekend Indians’ expenditure in the travel and hospitality sector showed a 165% increase this festive season. Not only are Indians traveling extensively, but they are using all modes of travel. Cabs showed a 121% increase in expenditure, while train bookings witnessed a 50% increase in expenditure & 33% increase in average ticket size. Airlines saw a 95% increase in average ticket size. Holiday packages saw a 70% increase in expenditure & 341% increase in average ticket size.


UPI driving digital payments adoption for daily use-cases 

There was a 133% rise in the number of transactions and a 124% growth in expenditure compared to 2021, probably echoing economic recovery, increased UPI adoption by small businesses & consumers. Interestingly, the average ticket size for UPI transactions has gone down marginally (-4%). Consumers used UPI for small ticket items such as groceries, within city travel & entertainment, which could be the reason ticket size declined. The top 5 cities contributing to the highest number of transactions through UPI are Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi NCR.


Digitization and economic expansion led to the growth of financial services

In the Banking and Insurance sector, transactions & expenditures increased by 100% and 143% respectively. This general sentiment is reflected across BFSI categories; total expenditure made in the insurance space grew by 41% perhaps driven by economic expansion, regulatory moves and increasing insurance penetration. Investments saw a 66% growth in expenditure & 50% growth in average ticket size – one possible reason could be the increased adoption of do-it-yourself wealth management platforms – especially among millennials & post-pandemic behavioral changes.


OTT & gaming leading digital entertainment adoption

The entertainment industry witnessed an increase in both expenditure and transactions of 52% and 54%. OTT expenditure has grown by 80% & transactions by 175%; gaming expenditure shot up by 20%. However, expenses related to watching movies physically and attending on-ground events witnessed a decline in expenditure and transactions of 11% and 43% respectively – perhaps habits set during the pandemic (OTT preference & avoiding public spaces) continue post-pandemic.


Education: Education as a category saw a 20% growth in expenditure & 24% growth in average ticket size. There is a 14% growth in university-related expenditure but a 40% dip in expenditure on upskilling. More Indians are paying for education using UPI. UPI transactions for education increased 29% while expenditure through UPI on education increased 47%.


Region-wise expenditure: Patna, Indore, Ernakulam, Nagpur & Ludhiana are new entrants to the list of the top 20 cities by expenditure, in 2022. Maharashtra, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu continue to be top festive spenders.  

Commenting on the PayU Insights Report – Festive Edition Paulami Das, Director, PayU Payments said “PayU is a pioneer in driving value addition for merchants and banks through data insights, offering targeted solutions which allow them to deepen customer engagement & create actionable business strategies. Based on these insights, we are able to determine economic & industry specific trends and whether these reflect broader market movements. We see that behaviors formed during the pandemic persist into the new normal with the preference for travel, digital entertainment & UPI continuing to increase significantly this festive season.”


*The report compares digital payment transaction trends on the PayU platform between festive periods of 2022 (September 15 – October 15) and 2021 (October 1-31).


About PayU India

PayU, India’s leading online payment solutions provider, is regulated under the Reserve Bank of India and has advanced solutions to meet the digital payment needs of the Indian market. PayU India aims to create a full-stack digital financial services platform to serve all (tapped and untapped) financial needs of customers (merchants, banks and consumers) through technology.


PayU provides payment gateway solutions to online businesses through its cutting-edge and award-winning technology.   PayU is one of the leading payment gateways in India & has empowered 4.5 lakh+ businesses, including leading enterprises, e-commerce giants and SMBs. It enables businesses to collect digital payments across 150+ online payment methods such as Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Net Banking, EMIs, BNPL, QR, UPI, Wallets, and more. PayU is one of the most preferred payment gateways that offer industry-best success rates while ensuring a seamless checkout experience.

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