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Holidays & movies get massive e-payments boost

Maharashtra & Karnataka account for 40% of country’s transactions; Maharashtra for 25%:


PayU has unveiled PayU Insights Report – Festive Edition, a comparative analysis between digital transaction trends in festive season 2020 and 2021. The Indian festive season is a measure of consumer buying sentiment, and this report maps changes in demand across categories.

Strong sales on retail and e-commerce channels and massive pent-up demand resulted in consumer appetite rebounding, and PayU registered a record high of 8 million transactions on a single day. Consumers are getting much more comfortable shopping for large ticket items online. In Festive Season 2021, average spends have increased by 52% while overall transactions handled by PayU increased by 17% compared to 2020.

5 Leading States

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and West Bengal showed highest spending through digital payments, with Maharashtra and Karnataka accounting for 24.5% and 14.8% of total spends processed. Mumbai accounted for 20% of total spends this season, Bangalore for 13%, Delhi for 7%, Kolkata and Hyderabad both for approximately 5%. Among smaller cities, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Pune showed increased volumes of digital payments. Bhubaneshwar and Surat also made their way into top 15 cities this year.

Travel & tourism revitalized

Travel and hospitality saw an increase of 105% more users transacting in Festive Season 2021, compared to last year. This could be attributed to relaxation of travel norms and positive impact of mass vaccination. India showed a healthy appetite for travel as total spends and total number of transactions grew by 61% and 67% respectively, compared to Festive Season 2020. This was clearly seen in increased demand for different types of transport.

For airlines, total spends increased by 109%. Trains were a preferred mode of travel with 250% increase in total number of transactions and 200% increase in total spends. This could be because larger number of consumers chose public transport for inter-state travel, after large-scale vaccination drives in different states. Travel by cabs and self-driving options increased during Festive Season 2021, with 271% growth in number of transactions and 111% growth in spends. It could be that consumers preferred car rentals and ride-hailing options for weekend getaways and short trips. Holiday packages received a boost with record 200% growth in spends processed per day.

Financial services grow

Across BFSI categories consumers were making larger transactions, as the number of transactions showed mild increase but spends increased in double and triple digits. As leading companies issued IPOs in October, investments through trading and wealth management platforms gained momentum, with 431% growth in total spends processed per day.

In banking and insurance, the spends through digital modes increased by 109%. Interestingly, consumers also showed penchant for debt reduction as total spends for credit repayments increased by 50% while number of transactions increased by 23%.

Movies see massive recovery

In the entertainment sector, digital payments for movies and events had a surprise recovery with 264% growth in total number of transactions and 450% growth in total spends processed. The uptick comes on the backdrop of gradual re-opening of public theatres and auditoriums post second wave of covid-19 pandemic.


Owing to massive week-long and month-long sales and deep discounts in Festive Season 2021, the total number of transactions increased by 40% and total spends increased by 50%.

University & Tuition

Offline education sector saw a steady revival with partial re-openings of schools and colleges, as total number of transactions increased by 15% and total spends processed by 58%.


Digital payments climbed as total number of transactions processed increased by 62%, average ticket size decreased by 21% and total spends processed by 15%.

UPI & Credit Cards dominate

Payment through credit cards saw a 66% increase in spends and 30% increase in number of transactions. However, payment through debit cards saw a decline as both spends and number of transactions decreased by 13% and 18% respectively. UPI was the next most popular mode of payment and witnessed 104% increase in total spends and 72% increase in total number of transactions.

Commenting on the PayU Insights Report – Festive Edition, Hemang Dattani, Head – Data Intelligence at PayU said: “Festive Season 2021 was unique in several ways. After conservative sentiments post the second wave, businesses and consumers alike showed a more robust and optimistic consumption environment. Online shopping festivals organized by leading e-retailers, positive recovery in markets, and relaxed guidelines on travel and public events spurred digital payments across key sectors. Also, what we are seeing across categories is greater confidence in spending large amounts, which is a great sign for the economy and takes us closer to becoming Digital India.”

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