Travel spending increases by 165%; OTT spending increases by 80% during the holiday season: PayU Insights report

– Nearly 7 million transactions processed in one day as major brands announce same-day sales –
– Credit repayment via UPI mode records a growth of 251% in expenditure and 172% in transactions –

NEW DELHI, November 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — PayU has unveiled its Insights Report – Festive Edition today which compares trends in digital payment transactions on the PayU platform between the holiday seasons of 2021 and 2022*. 2022 saw a 64% increase in spend and a 31% increase in transactions compared to the festive sale period in 2021. Additionally, the report also mapped the overall impact of the pandemic on adoption digital payments by Indians during the holiday season. There was a 245% increase in spending and a 130% increase in the number of transactions between the “normal” period of 2019 and the post-pandemic period of 2022.

Key outlook for 2022 vs. 2021

india strong preference for credit

Credit cards have been the preferred method of payment this season. Interestingly, credit card users spent about 5 times more than debit card users in 2022 (total spending), despite there being 1 credit card for every 12 debit cards. On average, a credit card user spent Rs. 6,000 as opposed to a debit card user who spent Rs. 2,500, in 2022. Year-on-year, card transactions and spending credit increased by 42% and 84%, respectively. One reason could be that banks offer cashback, rewards points, discounts, offers and add-ons on co-branded cards and stand-alone cards.

The appetite for credit is also reflected in the fact that credit repayment (i.e. personal loans for individuals and businesses) saw a 107% increase in spending and a 105% increase transactions over the past holiday season. One of the highest categories for UPI expenditure was loan repayment, showing that Indians are increasingly repaying their personal loans using UPI. Unsurprisingly, debit card transactions decreased by 34%.

Revenge tourism is all the rage

Whether driven by revenge tourism or the long Diwali weekend, Indian spending on travel and hospitality has increased by 165% this festive season. Not only do Indians travel a lot, but they use all modes of transport. Taxis saw a 121% increase in spending, while train bookings saw a 50% increase in spending and a 33% increase in average ticket size. Airlines have seen a 95% increase in average ticket size. Vacation packages saw a 70% increase in spend and a 341% increase in average ticket size.

UPI Drives Adoption of Digital Payments for Everyday Use Cases

There was a 133% increase in the number of transactions and a 124% growth in spending compared to 2021, likely echoing economic recovery, increased adoption of UPI by small businesses and consumers. Interestingly, the average ticket size for UPI transactions decreased slightly (-4%). Consumers used UPI for small items such as groceries, city trips, and entertainment, which may be why ticket sizes have decreased. The top 5 cities contributing the most transactions via UPI are Bombay, bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Delhi NCR.

Digitalization and economic expansion have driven the growth of financial services

In the Banking and Insurance sector, transactions and expenses increased by 100% and 143% respectively. This general sentiment is reflected in all BFSI categories; total spending on insurance increased by 41%, possibly due to economic expansion, regulatory measures and increasing insurance penetration. Investments saw 66% growth in spend and 50% growth in average ticket size – one possible reason could be increased adoption of do-it-yourself wealth management platforms – particularly among the generation Y and post-pandemic behavioral changes.

OTT and games are leading the adoption of digital entertainment

The entertainment industry saw an increase in spending and transactions of 52% and 54%. OTT spending increased by 80% and transactions by 175%; gambling spending increased by 20%. However, spending on physical movie viewing and attendance at on-the-ground events saw declines in spending and transactions of 11% and 43% respectively – perhaps habits established during the pandemic (OTT preference and avoidance of public spaces) continue after the pandemic.


Education as a category saw 20% growth in spend and 24% growth in average ticket size. There is a 14% growth in university-related expenses, but a 40% drop in professional development expenses. More Indians are paying for education using UPI. UPI transactions for education increased by 29% while spending through UPI for education increased by 47%.

Expenditure by region

Patna, Indore, Ernakulam, Nagpur and Ludhiana are new entrants in the list of top 20 spenders in 2022. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu continue to be the top party spenders.

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

About PayU India

PayU, india leading provider of online payment solutions, is regulated by 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 comprehensive digital financial services platform to meet all financial needs (tapped and untapped) of customers (merchants, banks and consumers) through technology.

PayU provides payment gateway solutions to online businesses through its industry-leading, award-winning technology. PayU is one of the leading payment gateways in India & has enabled over 4.5 lakh businesses including A-list enterprises, e-commerce giants and SMEs. It enables businesses to collect digital payments via over 150 online payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, online banking, EMI, BNPL, QR, UPI, wallets etc. PayU is one of the most popular payment gateways that offers the best success rates in the industry while ensuring a seamless payment experience.



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