After the horrors of 2020, 2021 has been a bountiful year as Indian startups have grown like never before. This has led to the revival and growth of the startup industry, led by sectors such as edtech, fintech, and others. Even as we are at the end of the year, the digital payments sector continues to grow, and the data presented by PhonePe’s second edition of the Pulse report for Q3 2021 has shown just that. PhonePe is a giant in the digital payment sector in India. It processes 45% of all UPI transactions in India and covers 720 out of the country’s 726 districts.

According to the report, which is based on PhonePe’s 32-crore user base and their digital transaction habits, the growth of the digital payments sector in the third quarter of the year has been spearheaded by Chinese firms – in fact, four of the top five smartphone brands used for digital transactions hail from China.

Xiaomi leads the way with 8.07 crore customers, followed by Vivo, which has 6.53 crore customers. South Korea’s Samsung trails behind with 6.13 crore customers, while Oppo and Realme complete the top five with 4.21 crore and 2.42 crore customers respectively. Xiaomi and Vivo together make up nearly 45% of the total customer base in the third quarter – Xiaomi 25%, Vivo 20%.

“However, in an interesting trend this quarter, we also saw Realme, OnePlus and Vivo grow faster than Xiaomi clocking in growth rates of 17.8%, 17.0%, and 11.2% relative to the 6.4% clocked by Xiaomi,” the report said. It added that offline merchant payments increased faster than online merchant payments and registered a QoQ growth rate of 65%.

In terms of geography, it is Chandigarh that comes first with over 50% quarter-on-quarter transaction volumes growth. Karnataka and Maharashtra have the largest increase in quarter-on-quarter transactions volume – both have registered an increase of ₹22 crores. The Total Payments Value (TPV) of transactions processed grew by 23.3% quarter-on-quarter to come at ₹921,674 crores, while the number of transactions grew by 33.6% from ₹394 crores to₹526.5 crore transactions.