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Older Indians lead the country in digital payments adoption: Capgemini report

COVID-19 has forced people to self-isolate, which is making people unlearn old methods and move towards digital payments.

Indians above 50 years old are driving the digital payments growth in the country amidst COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report by Capgemini.

India is seeing the highest surge with 75% of consumers using digital payments services, followed by China at 63%, and Italy at 19%, said the report based on the consumer survey of 11 countries conducted early April. Consumers from countries including China, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US participated in the survey.

According to the survey, people in the age group of 56 and above are likely to switch to the digital payments after the pandemic.

“The uptake in digital payments has been around for some time. What was striking was that about 80% of the older consumers in the age bracket of 56 years plus have switched to digital payments, which is way higher than global benchmarks,” said Sudhir Pai, chief technology and innovation officer for Financial Services Global Business at Capgemini.

India has a host of homegrown as well as global digital payments companies including Paytm, Google Pay, Mobikwik, PhonePe, Amazon Pay, and, WhatsApp Pay which can now leverage the wide-scale adoption of mobile-based payments.

“There are certain events that trigger a shift in behavior. COVID-19 has forced people to self-isolate, which is making people unlearn old methods and move to the new world,” he said.

So far, global and homegrown consumer tech companies including payment firms have been eyeing millennials to drive their growth. With older people taking the charge with digital payments, the new-age tech companies will have a wider audience to target.

The study found that 40% of Indians used voice assistants and chat bots pre-COVID-19 period as a preferred digital touch point for banking, which has surged to 52% at present. This is projected to further increase to 59% over the next six to nine months, the highest among the countries surveyed.

The survey noted that 85% of Indian consumers prefer to save more in the next six to nine months as compared to 72% before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Meanwhile, about 83% of consumers in the South Asian nation said they would opt for an increase in life insurance coverage in the six-nine months from 80% currently, and 70% in the pre-COVID-19 period.

Indians interacting on mobile apps also increased to 67% from 57% in the pre-COVID-19 period, while 74% of Indian consumers said they will prefer interacting over a mobile app in the next six to nine months. This is a notch higher than that of consumers globally. The report estimated that the global average for using mobile apps as a digital touch point stood at 47% during the pre-COVID-19 period and it would reach 55% in the next six to nine months.