More than 50% of Indians recharge their phones online
MAS Team | 02 January 2021
The share of digital mobile phone recharges in India crossed 50% for the first time in 2020 as the pandemic led people to minimise stepping out to stores and instead opt for online transactions, writes The Economic Times.
At Reliance Jio, the share of online recharges increased to 50% in the December quarter from 35% in the March quarter, after having touched 60% during the lockdown in the June-ended quarter, according to a senior company executive.
At Bharti Airtel, half of its recharge revenue for all of 2020 came from the digital channel for the first time, a company official said. 
Fintech companies including Google Pay and PhonePe, payment gateway CC Avenue and startups such as Niyo and Spice Money said there was a 55-75% surge in mobile recharge transactions. 
According to Google Pay, the pandemic pushed many first-time users to consider digital payments for frequent transactions such as mobile recharges and bill payments. 
Vishwas Patel, executive director of Infibeam Avenues, which operates CC Avenue, a payment gateway, said transactions on the platform increased 75% between the pre-Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 quarters. 
PhonePe said these steps helped to push transaction volumes and increase the average recharge size. 
Spice Money said there was a 100% growth in recharge transactions and value from the rural and semi-urban areas, which contribute about 80% of its gross recharge transactions by value. 
Fintech startup Niyo’s flagship brand Niyo Bharat, which caters to 1.8 million blue collared workers, introduced its recharge facility in June and aims to add 800,000 customers by June 2021. Cofounder Vinay Bagri said, “On average, a user spends Rs 350 on mobile recharge in a month.”