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Indian banks risk losing $9bn revenue to e-wallets by 2025

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Mumbai, Oct 31, 2019-

As much as 14 per cent of Indian banks payments revenue, or $9 billion, is likely to be displaced by the growth of digital payments and competition from non-banks, an Accenture report said on Thursday.

“With the digital boom as payments become more instant, invisible and free, banks need to reinvent themselves to grow customer loyalty, revenues and profitability,” Rishi Aurora, a managing director at Accenture who leads its financial services practice in India, said in a statement.

Payments revenue in the country will likely grow at an annual rate of 10.7 per cent, from $38 billion in 2019 to more than $70 billion by 2025, said the report titled “Banking Pulse Survey: Two Ways To Win”.

Only banks that change their business models to adopt the latest technologies and focus on providing value-added services to customers will capture a share of the $32 billion in incremental revenue growth.

“To succeed in the post digital era, banks need to redefine innovation strategies around scaling technology and adding value to address the payments challenges,” Aurora said.

Digital payments platforms such as Paytm, Google Pay and PhonePe are quite popular in India. Their adoption surged dramatically after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in November last year.

The report is based on a revenue-risk analysis model that Accenture developed to measure trends in how consumers pay and projected changes in merchant behaviour, technology and regulation.

The research is complemented by a survey of 240 payments executives at banks across 22 countries to determine how they plan to mitigate and capitalise on the disruption in payments to grow customer loyalty, revenues and profitability.

The report showed that global payments revenue in all markets surveyed will likely grow to more than $2 trillion by 2025, creating a $500 billion opportunity for banks in those countries.

Over the next six years, banks will face further pressure on income from card transactions and fees, with free payments putting 8.4 per cent of payments revenue at risk in India, said the report.

In addition, competition from non-banks in invisible payments — where payments are completed in a ‘virtual wallet’ on a mobile app or device — will put 3.6 per cent of bank revenues at risk.

Card displacement by instant payments, where funds are settled and transferred in real-time and banks make little to no interest, is projected to put an additional two per cent of payment revenues at risk.

The research found that the industry is aware of the challenges posed by new technologies in payments.

More than two-thirds of the banking executives surveyed in all markets agree that payments are becoming free.  (Agency)

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