Factors Driving the Next Wave of Growth for Bharat

26 / 06 / 2023

The continuous drive for ’Digital India’ has been a significant factor in shaping the Indian payment landscape. With the rapid expansion of technology, we have witnessed a transformation in the way people transact. From cash-dominated transactions, we are now moving towards a digital payment ecosystem. The adoption of technology in rural parts of India, commonly referred to as 'Bharat,' has the potential to drive financial inclusion and bridge the urban-rural divide. Technology is acting as an enabler for driving digitization in Bharat.


Let us understand the four major factors that are driving digitization and adaptability in Bharat.

  • The introduction and rapid maturing of the Aadhar card in building a robust digital infrastructure through which social and financial transfers can take place is extraordinary. It is today used as a validation tool, digitizing government subsidy flows, recording attendance for government employees to reduce absenteeism; and issuance of passports, voter identity cards, and other forms of ID.
  • The Government of India’s push for financial inclusion and digitization has led to a surge in digital payment adoption. If you look at Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) – an ambitious financial inclusion initiative to ensure access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pension in an affordable manner. This has resulted in millions more citizens becoming a part of India’s formal banking system.

    As per current data available on the PMJDY website, the total balance of the accounts stood at ₹2,01,598.79 crore as of April 2023, with 48.70 crore beneficiaries, out of which 27.08 crore are women. Now with the success of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the Government of India is coming out with progressive banking systems by proposing to set up of Digital Banking Units (DBUs) and a unified digital interface (portal) for ensuring seamless end-to-end connectivity between Jan Dhan accounts, Jeevan Jyoti and Suraksha Bima Yojana is also expected.
  • UPI is the flagbearer of India’s ongoing fintech revolution. The progressive development of UPI has not just constructed an efficient payment instrument, but it has connected millions on an inclusive and well-structured digital platform. According to India Digital Payments Annual Report 2022 by Worldline, UPI transactions reached 42 billion in 2021, a growth of 102% compared to the previous year. The interoperability of UPI, has made paying and receiving money simple and easy for everyone. With UPI getting global acceptance, it will add another chapter to India’s progress as a global leader in digital payments.
  • The proliferation of affordable smartphones and low-cost data plans has significantly increased internet penetration in rural India. As per the Economic Survey of India in 2023, the total telephone subscriber base in India stands at 117.8 crore, as of September 2022. Out of this, 44.3 percent of the subscribers are based out of rural India. Between 2015 and 2021, the Survey noted that Internet subscriptions in rural areas saw a whopping 200 percent increase. This scale is encouraging many Big Tech and fintech players to launch various innovations in apps and solutions to enable sending and receiving payments.


The emergence of digital technologies and the consequent rise of digital banking and fintech innovations around mobile payments, pre-paid instruments/BNPL/e-wallets etc. have fundamentally altered consumer behaviour. In addition to banks, NPCI, fintech players and Big Tech players, a new category of intermediaries is playing an increasingly important role as a bridge between service providers and end consumers.

India is well-positioned to capitalize on these trends and accelerate not just financial inclusion but digitally enabled financial inclusion, which is really the new objective. A report by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that digital services in India can create economic value of $500 billion to $1 trillion by 2025, and a significant portion of this value will come from rural areas. The opportunities and potential to grow digitally are virtually unlimited, especially in tier-2 towns and beyond, we call Bharat.

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Sheik Mohideen

Senior Vice President – Sales, Worldline India