Digital Payments to Hit Record $4.7trn in 2020

Digital payments have had a huge impact on the global payments industry traditionally dominated by cash, credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. The surge of smart devices and a growing eCommerce market has led to the rapid adoption of digital payments, in both developed and emerging countries.

According to data gathered by, the worldwide digital payments market will jump to a record $4.7trn transaction value this year, with a 15.3% year-over-year growth rate. This rising trend is set to continue in the following years, with the entire market reaching $6.7trn by 2023.

China is the Leading Digital Payments Market Globally

The global digital payments market is growing at an average annual rate of almost 14% from 2017 to 2023, revealed the Statista Survey on fintech industry. Digital commerce represents the most significant segment of the market, forecast to generate up to 67% of the transactions in the next three years.

However, mobile point of sale payments are set to see the most significant rise in the future, jumping from $745bn transaction value in 2019 to $2.1trn by 2023. The average transaction value per user in this segment will also increase from just over $791 in 2020 to $1,289 in 2023.

By geography, China is set to stay the most prominent digital payments market in the world, with 49% of the global market share by 2023. Just two decades ago, China was primarily a cash economy. However, e-commerce giant Alibaba and gaming group Tencent have exploited the country’s widespread smartphone ownership and helped drive a massive shift among Chinese consumers towards digital payments. Today, Chinese companies receive digital payments and use them as an entry point to offer consumers a range of both offline and online products and services.

The Statista report shows that together, China and the US will account for nearly 70% of the global digital payment’s transaction value by 2023. Although PayPal, Venmo and Square dominate the US alternative payments market, technology giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook, as well as large banks such as JP Morgan, Chase, and Wells Fargo, are also pushing into this market. The goal of this massive shift is to increase the speed of money transfers for consumers, reduce transaction costs, and weave payment services into social networks.

Far behind the two leading countries, the UK ranked as the third biggest digital payments market in the world, with $176bn transaction value in 2020. Japan and Germany follow with $173.1bn and $127.4bn, respectively. Statistics indicate that the rank of the leading regions will remain the same over the next three years.

The Booming of P2P Mobile Payments

The global peer-to-peer digital payments market is also booming, with consumers sending billions of dollars through digital apps. The Statista figures confirm the US has the biggest peer-to-peer payments market globally, with Venmo, Zelle and Square as dominant players.

The US peer-to-peer payments industry is competitive, with both financial institutions and fintech start-ups offering innovative services and creating sophisticated networks that provide real-time payments. The statistics indicate that the unified market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 20% and reach a $381bn value by 2022.

As one of the liveliest markets for fintech firms globally, the UK is also currently witnessing a rise of peer-to-peer-related growth. The entire UK’s peer-to-peer payments industry is forecast to jump to $70bn by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 23%.

However, the Indian market is the fastest growing one globally, spiking with an average annual growth rate of over 72% from $10.5bn in 2017 to $159.2bn in 2022. Radical government efforts, especially the demonetization efforts of November 2016 and the launch of government-owned instant real-time payment system Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in the same year, are the biggest drivers of this incredible growth. The UPI transactions already hit more than half the value of card transactions in the country.

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