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Travel Expenditure Grows 165%; OTT Expenditure Grows 80% During Festive Season: PayU Insights Report

Travel Expenditure Grows 165%; OTT Expenditure Grows 80% During Festive Season: PayU Insights Report

Credit Repayment via UPI mode sees 251% growth in expenditure and 172% growth in transactions

PayU unveiled its Insights Report – Festive edition which compares digital payment transaction trends on the PayU platform between the festive seasons of 2021 and 2022. 2022 saw a 64% increase in expenditure & 31% increase in the number of transactions vis-à-vis festive sale period in 2021. Moreover, the report also mapped the overall pandemic impact on Indians’ adoption of digital payments for the festive period. There has been a 245% increase in expenditure & 130% increase in the number of transactions between the ‘normal’ period of 2019 & post-pandemic period of 2022.

PayU Festive Season Insights
PayU Festive Season Insights

Key insights for 2022 vis-a-vis 2021

India’s strong credit preference

Credit cards were the most preferred mode of payment this season. Interestingly, credit card users spent about 5 times more than debit card users in 2022 (total expenditure), in spite of the fact that there is 1 credit card for every 12 debit cards. On an average, a credit card user spent Rs. 6000 as opposed to a debit card user who spent Rs. 2500, in 2022. Year on year, credit card transactions and expenditures grew 42% and 84%, respectively. One reason could be banks offering cashback, reward points, discounts, deals & add-on services on cobranded cards & standalone cards.

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The appetite for credit is also reflected in the fact that credit repayment (i.e. personal loans for consumers & businesses) saw a 107% increase in expenditure & 105% increase in transactions over the last festive season. One of the highest categories for UPI spending was Credit Repayment, showing that Indians are increasingly repaying personal loans using UPI. Not surprisingly, debit card transactions declined by 34%.

Revenge tourism is the rage

Whether motivated by revenge tourism or the extended Diwali weekend Indians’ expenditure in the travel and hospitality sector showed a 165% increase this festive season. Not only are Indians traveling extensively, but they are using all modes of travel. Cabs showed a 121% increase in expenditure, while train bookings witnessed a 50% increase in expenditure & 33% increase in average ticket size. Airlines saw a 95% increase in average ticket size. Holiday packages saw a 70% increase in expenditure & 341% increase in average ticket size.

UPI driving digital payments adoption for daily use-cases 

There was a 133% rise in the number of transactions and a 124% growth in expenditure compared to 2021, probably echoing economic recovery, increased UPI adoption by small businesses & consumers. Interestingly, the average ticket size for UPI transactions has gone down marginally (-4%). Consumers used UPI for small ticket items such as groceries, within city travel & entertainment, which could be the reason ticket size declined. The top 5 cities contributing to the highest number of transactions through UPI are MumbaiBangaloreHyderabadChennai and Delhi NCR.

Digitization and economic expansion led to the growth of financial services

In the Banking and Insurance sector, transactions & expenditures increased by 100% and 143% respectively. This general sentiment is reflected across BFSI categories; total expenditure made in the insurance space grew by 41% perhaps driven by economic expansion, regulatory moves and increasing insurance penetration. Investments saw a 66% growth in expenditure & 50% growth in average ticket size – one possible reason could be the increased adoption of do-it-yourself wealth management platforms – especially among millennials & post-pandemic behavioral changes.

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OTT & gaming leading digital entertainment adoption

The entertainment industry witnessed an increase in both expenditure and transactions of 52% and 54%. OTT expenditure has grown by 80% & transactions by 175%; gaming expenditure shot up by 20%. However, expenses related to watching movies physically and attending on-ground events witnessed a decline in expenditure and transactions of 11% and 43% respectively – perhaps habits set during the pandemic (OTT preference & avoiding public spaces) continue post-pandemic.


Education as a category saw a 20% growth in expenditure & 24% growth in average ticket size. There is a 14% growth in university-related expenditure but a 40% dip in expenditure on upskilling. More Indians are paying for education using UPI. UPI transactions for education increased 29% while expenditure through UPI on education increased 47%.

Region-wise expenditure

Patna, Indore, Ernakulam, Nagpur & Ludhiana are new entrants to the list of the top 20 cities by expenditure, in 2022. Maharashtra, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu continue to be top festive spenders.

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