According to a report by TransUnion CIBIL, nearly 56 per cent of total new internet users will be from rural India by 2025. At present, 36 per cent of digital payment users hail from rural parts of the country. The report, prepared with insights from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the Fintech Convergence Council (FCC), focuses on the transformative effects of the digitalisation of credit and payments on evolving consumer behaviours.

The report states that India has emerged as the global leader in the creation and adoption of digital infrastructure. The country leads in terms of a unique identity programme and volumes of digital transactions, with 1.3 billion people enrolled under Aadhaar and 7,400 UPI transactions being undertaken in 2022. The country also recorded 28 billion app downloads during 2022, accounting for 5 per cent of global app downloads — the second highest in the world. It has 1.2 billion wireless phone subscribers, of whom 45 per cent are in rural geographies, and 76 million active internet users, of whom 53 per cent are in rural areas.

Further, more than one-third of Indians own a smartphone. 531 million were net-commerce users, and 258 million shopped online in 2022. The growth can be attributed to the rising scale of digital finance, increasing use cases for digital finance, and accelerated financial inclusion. Additionally, the report notes that India has the lowest cost per GB of mobile internet data in the world at Rs 13 per GB.

As per the report, the growing digital adoption is being driven by the fact that 52 per cent of the country’s population is under 40 years of age, higher than the global average of 46 per cent. This financially influential young workforce, combined with a robust digital infrastructure and a boost in the digital economy, is expected to accelerate India’s digital journey.