Indians preferred face to face shopping over online this Diwali – Visa study


• 66 percent of the total spends recorded at physical points of sale
• 40% year-on-year growth in credit spend overall; higher debit spend from smaller cities
• Indians spent 1.48 times more during Diwali week compared to a normal week


Visa (NYSE: V) today released data on consumer spending in India during the week leading to Diwali this year on Visa cards1. The data captures consumer spending patterns via payment cards (debit and credit), both for face to face (F2F) and online shopping across cities and different shopping categories during the period.

“Our study has thrown up some very interesting and encouraging insights on consumer spending habits. While ecommerce continues to make strong inroads in India, for key occasions and festivities citizens still prefer a personalized experience, accompanied by ‘touch-and-feel’. In addition, the higher debit penetration by spend from the smaller cities, validates the healthy progress of the nation towards a less-cash society,” Group Country Manager, India & South Asia, Visa, TR Ramachandran, said.   

During the week leading to Diwali, Visa recorded 7.9 crore transactions, up 49% from last year, amounting to INR 15,300 crores, up 37%, year-on-year. While the average spend was 1.48 times more than that during a normal week, it doubled (to INR 2,900 crores) on Dhanteras, which was on November 5, 2018. This could also be seen from a 2.9 times increase in the spend for Jewellery during the week, compared to a normal week.

Breaking down the spends via payment cards, there was a 40% YoY increase in credit spend as against a 35% YoY increase in debit spend. Of the total spends, credit contributed to 50% and debit to 48% respectively this year.

While the top five cities of Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai contributed 46% of total F2F spend, the city of Chandigarh, with a 34% change, recorded the highest growth in F2F spend. Chandigarh, along with other smaller cities like Coimbatore and Pune, showed increases of up to 64% in debit spend. This reinforces the confidence that the citizens of India are adapting to digital payments, thereby reducing their dependence on cash.

Other key findings:

  • Transactions: Credit and debit contributed 28% and 69% respectively of all transactions
  • Categories with highest uplift in spend - Jewellery, Home Improvement and Apparel & Accessories were the top 3 categories in F2F spend while Electronics, Discount Stores and B2B led in Online spend
  • Delhi NCR contributed the most of the total F2F spend: At 14%, Delhi was followed by Mumbai (11%), Bengaluru (9%), Hyderabad and Chennai (both at 6%)


1VisaNet transaction data


About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, and @VisaNews.