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PhonePe continues to dominate UPI market while WhatsApp Pay grows 2x

PhonePe, Paytm, digital payments

While PhonePe continues to dominate the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) market, beating Google Pay for three months in a row, WhatsApp Pay’s UPI market share has slowly inched up, according to data from the National Payments Corporation of India for the month of December 2020.

While PhonePe processed 902 million transactions worth over ₹1.82 lakh crore in December, Google Pay processed over 854 million transactions worth ₹1.76 lakh crore during the same month. In November, PhonePe processed 868 million UPI transactions worth over ₹1.75 lakh crore compared to Google Pay’s 960 million transactions worth ₹1.61 lakh crore.

As of December, PhonePe had a market share of 40.4% in volume terms and 43.8% in value terms compared to 39.3% and 44.9%, respectively, in the previous month. In comparison, Google Pay’s UPI market share has slipped to 38% in volume terms and 42% in value terms in the month of December compared to 43.4% and 41.3% respectively, in the previous month.

Paytm Payments Bank has the third largest UPI service, with a 11.7% market share in volume terms and a 7.52% market share in value terms as of December. Its market share as a third-party UPI app has not moved much since November. On the other hand, Axis Bank’s UPI service has grown significantly from just 5 million transactions worth ₹464 crore in November to 92.15 million transactions worth ₹644 crore in December. This is on account of over 90 million Business-2-Consumer UPI transactions rather than transactions initiated by customers, the NPCI data reveals.

WhatsApp Pay Doubles UPI Transactions

WhatsApp Pay’s UPI service, which got the regulator and NPCI’s nod last year to launch in a graded manner, has grown by over 200% in both volume and value terms between November and December. In December, WhatsApp Pay processed 810,000 UPI transactions worth ₹29.72 crore compared to 310,000 transactions worth ₹13.87 crore.

However, its market share stands at 0.04% in volume terms and 0.007% in value terms as of December. It is the 19th largest third-party UPI app, behind State Bank of India, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, Cred, Airtel Payments Bank, HDFC Bank, Freecharge, India Post Payments Bank, MobiKwik and IndusInd Bank among others.

When NPCI gave its nod to WhatsApp Pay’s launch, it introduced a market share cap of 30% on UPI players beginning from January 1, 2021, ostensibly to ensure that Whthe atsApp’s UPI service does not crowd out other players in the UPI ecosystem. Since WhatsApp has over 400 million users, an unrestricted launch of its UPI service would burden the existing UPI infrastructure which has been witnessing a rise in technical outages and transaction failures in the last two month.

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