Festival season spending is becoming a largely cashless affair.

Digital payments are preferred by 42 per cent of consumers in India, leading card payments (29 per cent ) and cash (27 per cent ), according to a new online study conducted by YouGov and ACI Worldwide, a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions.

The study found that younger consumers preferred digital payments (42 per cent for Gen Z and 48 per cent for Millennials), but their adoption was consistent across age groups. Nearly 77 per cent of Millennials had used digital payments at least once during the festival season, compared to 72 per cent of Gen Z and 69 per cent of Gen X. Nearly half (45 per cent ) of Baby Boomers also indicated they had used digitals payments within the survey period.

“Digital payments, including UPI and other eWallets, are increasingly the payment method of choice across a wide spectrum of consumers in India,” said Kaushik Roy, vice president & country leader – South Asia, ACI Worldwide. “While there is still a perception that UPI, for example, is primarily for the peer-to-peer channel, this study shows that significant inroads are being made in the merchant payments channel.”

Other key findings and trends:

* 43 per cent of respondents used digital payment methods regularly (at least 2-3 times per week) during the festival period, with 15 per cent purchasing this way once or more per day.

* 32 per cent have not used cash for festival season purchases, indicating that for some, festival season spending is becoming a largely cashless affair.

* Only one in ten respondents (10 per cent ) claimed to have not made a digital payment method at all in the period leading up to Diwali.

* Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments were made by 36 per cent of respondents for low-value payments (less than Rs 1,000) and 37 per cent for high-value payments (more than Rs 1,000) during the festival season.

* Internet connectivity is a top concern for 44 per cent , while failed transactions (36 per cent ), problems processing refunds (32 per cent ) and fraud (29 per cent ) also were identified as major concerns.

* Only 21 per cent of respondents cited lack of clarity about fees as a top concern and 23 per cent lack of acceptance infrastructure at merchants, reflecting increasing ease of use for customers and greater merchant acceptance.

* The survey was conducted on 1,025 adults

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