Digital transactions in India grew by about 10% on the Razorpay online payments platform over the past month, as Indian consumers became increasingly housebound and keen to limit their social contact.

That is according to analysis of payments made on Razorpay’s platform between February 2020 and 19 March, with the company attributing the increase directly to the impact of coronavirus on consumer behaviour.

Online grocery shopping saw growth of 9% in a sign of consumers becoming worried about running out of essential supplies, while government and utility bill payments increased by 30%.

Razorpay said these developments signalled the precautionary measures that consumers are now taking by staying indoors, the Economic Times reported.

The coronavirus outbreak has also hit the travel sector hard. According to research firm Statista, the travel sector accounted for 40% of all online payments in India last year.

But now Razorpay said the current situation has triggered a 30% decline in online travel bookings, signifying a major downturn in the sector’s contribution to overall digital payments.

“From a macroeconomic perspective, we are seeing an increase in the demand for digital payments across a few sectors – grocery, e-commerce and utility bills have gone up, given the social isolation,” said Harshil Mathur, CEO and co-founder of Razorpay.

“On the flip, people are having to stay indoors and not having enough spending power, this can make the overall consumer spending go down creating a lasting (negative) impact,” he added.

Razorpay also reported that UPI (19.6%), net banking (11.5%) and wallets (10.3%) were the top three methods of payment during the period under review and that the number of online transactions increased the most in the cities of Ahmedabad (11%), Hyderabad (7%) and Pune (5%).

Sourced from Razorpay, Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff