Indian Digital Payment Platforms: Who’s got the Winning Genes?

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To build a cashless economy, the Indian government welcomed a band of digital payment platforms. These digital payment platforms used the UPI payment method to accelerate digital transformation. Furthermore, the nationwide lockdown imposed in 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 skyrocketed digital payment as a safe and secure choice. The value of UPI transactions increased by 105% during the lockdown period.

According to Statista, in February 2021, India’s unified payments interfaces (UPI) operators recorded 2.3 billion online payment transactions worth more than four trillion rupees. Although this was a minor decline from January 2021, it still represented a year-over-year increase of nearly 70 percent in transaction volume. PhonePe has a 42.5 percent stake of the 2.3 billion transactions, while GooglePay has a 36 percent stake. Meanwhile, Paytm, the third-largest player, has a nearly 15% market share.


In December 2020, PhonePe surpassed Google Pay concerning UPI activity volume and value. The Bengaluru-based firm has registered 1,149.84 million transactions worth Rs 2,34,123.57 crore as of May 2021. In the UPI ecosystem, PhonePe now has a 45.27 percent market share.

PhonePe was founded in December 2015 and is currently one of the largest Indian e-commerce payment systems and digital wallet companies. Rahul Chari and Sameer Nigam founded PhonePe, which went live in August 2016. It is billed as India’s first payment app based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Phonepe was granted a license by the country’s Central Bank, the RBI, to establish and operate a Semi-Closed Prepaid Payment System.

Paytm Payments Bank

Paytm Payments Bank ranks third among the top UPI apps. PPB has 290.69 million transactions on its books, and it controls 11.44 percent of the market share. However, Paytm Payment Bank’s total income fell roughly 10 percent from Rs 3,540.8 crore (FY20) to Rs 3,186.8 crore (FY21). Transaction volumes sore because of minimum commercial activities during the lockdown period. 

Paytm is a fintech business based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, an Indian e-commerce payment service. Vijay Shekhar Sharma founded Paytm in August 2010 with a $2 million initial investment. It debuted as a prepaid mobile and DTH recharge service; however, by 2013, it had expanded to include postpaid mobile recharge, data card, and landline bill payments. 


While PhonePe and GooglePay have risen to the top in the UPI market, BHIM is witnessing a downfall. In November 2020, BHIM’s market share in overall UPI transactions fell to a new low of 0.88 percent. In the last couple of years, BHIM has had a difficult time. In November of last year, BHIM recorded its lowest market share, with 1.29 percent of all UPI transactions.

The National Payments Corporation of India created Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM), an Indian mobile payment app based on UPI. It was introduced by PM Narendra Modi in December 2016 and is titled after B. R. Ambedkar.


Freecharge was once one of India’s most widely used payment apps, but its popularity has dwindled in recent years. In December of 2020, the service processed 1 million transactions valued at Rs 59.9 crores. 

An e-payment application, Freecharge, was founded in August 2010 by Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon with seed funding from Tandon Group and Sequoia Capital for an unknown amount. Snapdeal purchased FreeCharge on April 8, 2015, resulting in the country’s largest venture capital exit to date. The cash and equity value of the deal was estimated at $400 million. However, in July 2017, Axis Bank purchased FreeCharge for $60 million.


Recently, Independent cybersecurity researchers reported the sale of MobiKwik’s consumer data worth 10 Crores available on the Dark Web. It is considered the largest data leak in Indian history. MobiKwik, on the other hand, has denied the claim and informed about hiring a third party to conduct a forensic data security audit to shed light on the situation. MobiKwik’s net revenue increased by 134 percent to Rs. 379 crore in FY20.

MobiKwik, an Indian e-commerce payment platform, was launched in 2009 by Bipin Preet Singh and Upasana Taku. A $250 thousand seed capital investment fueled the launch. The Gurugram-based digital wallet claims to have more than 107 million customers, 3 million businesses, and 200+ billers on its platform. 

Digital Payment Platforms: Who’s got the Winning Genes?

Google Pay and Amazon Pay are two other prominent Indian digital payment platforms doing exceptionally well in the UPI market. The COVID-19 outbreak altered the landscape of UPI use in India. Social distancing and the need to stay at home have compelled many brands and businesses to opt for quick and easy digital transactions. While the trend toward cashless India is encouraging, there is still some risk involved. As previously stated, MobiKwik was involved in a massive data leak fiasco, proving that digital transactions are not always “super safe.”

This article has been retrieved on June 14, 2021, via local backup as we experienced a site crash and had backup until June 10, 2021. The article is republished as originally dated; June 12, 2021.

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