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COVID-19: Digital payments see uptick in user base

Live Mint

As several states take steps towards a lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, digital payment platforms have witnessed a sharp jump in the number of users as cash transactions across the country see a decline.

Digital payments giant Paytm said it has witnessed a 20% jump in the number of digital transactions since February, with more merchants willing to partner the company. “There is a 15% increase in incoming requests from offline merchants to partner with Paytm. We are seeing a trend that merchants are offering home deliveries in their neighborhood and suggesting their customers to Paytm as they fear the transfer of the virus from hands and cash,” a Paytm spokesperson told Mint.

Similarly, Walmart-backed PhonePe said it has witnessed higher transactions on their platform. “We are seeing an uptick in our switch partners from whom our users can buy essentials/staples such as groceries, medicine and food. This is happening across all locations,” a PhonePe spokesperson said.

On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) urged citizens to use more electronic payments so that exposure to crowded places like ATMs or banks is reduced.