Card payments cos go contactless to script recovery story

Having ceded market share to UPI, the card payments industry is turning to a decades-old technology to stay relevant

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By 

Pratik Bhakta

March 30, 2021

7 Min Read

The future relevance of India’s debit and credit card industry needs to be viewed from the perspective of certain numbers and data points. 

A year ago, in January 2020, debit and credit cards were still holding on to their primacy in digital payments, accounting for 655 million merchant transactions. Transactions to merchants via the indigenous Unified Payments Interface were gaining fast but were still laps behind at an estimated 200-300 million.

Just a year after, in January 2021, merchant transactions on UPI had sped to 1 billion while card payments had dropped to about 548 million.

The success of UPI, which allows people to pay or transfer money from their bank accounts using apps on their smartphones, is in large part due to its hard-to-beat convenience. 

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