Digital payments in India are witnessing a shakeup, with established players like Paytm facing challenges and rivals PhonePe, BHIM, and Google Pay seizing the opportunity, according to a report by media outlet Moneycontrol, quoting exclusive data shared by Appfigures. This shift is evident in a surge in app downloads for these alternative platforms, indicating consumers’ search for new options.
PhonePe takes the lead:
PhonePe, backed by Walmart, has reportedly emerged as the frontrunner, experiencing a 45% week-on-week increase in Android downloads on February 3rd, reaching 2.79 lakh downloads. This growth is attributed to strategic marketing efforts, propelling the app to the top spot in both Google Play Store and Apple App Store’s free apps category in India. Notably, PhonePe Business, catering to merchants, has also witnessed a significant jump in app rankings, reflecting its growing popularity.
BHIM app sees dramatic rise:
The National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) BHIM app has reportedly witnessed an even more impressive surge, with a 50% increase in Android downloads during the four-day period of January 31st to February 3rd. This translates to 5.93 lakh downloads, compared to 3.97 lakh in the previous week. This growth is further emphasized by its app ranking ascension, soaring from 326th position on January 19th to 7th position on Google Play in India as of February 5th.
Google Pay records modest growth:
While not as dramatic as its competitors, Google Pay has also reportedly seen an upward trend, with a 4.9% week-on-week increase in Android downloads on February 3rd. The four-day period ending February 3rd saw an 8.4% increase in downloads compared to the prior week.
Paytm, facing restrictions from the RBI on its Payments Bank services, has reportedly experienced a decline in app downloads. On February 3rd, downloads dipped 24% week-on-week to 68,391. This translates to a nearly 5% decline in downloads for the four-day period compared to the previous week. This has also impacted its app ranking, dropping from 18th to 40th position on Google Play Store in India.
The Reserve Bank of India on January 31 issued a notification of its supervisory action against Paytm Payments Bank. India’s central bank has imposed restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank that prevent it from accepting new deposits or onboarding new customers from February 29, 2024. In a release, the RBI noted that the move comes as a response to the revelations by its audit reports, which it describes as “persistent non-compliances and continued material supervisory concerns” with the bank, under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
Following the RBI’s recent regulatory measures, a significant decline gripped Paytm’s parent company, One97 Communications Ltd. Between January 31st and February 2nd, 2024, the company’s shares witnessed a staggering 36% plunge. This downward spiral resulted in a loss of market capitalization amounting to a hefty Rs 17,378.41 crore within just two days.