Despite being home to the second-highest number of internet users in the world, proportions of Indian online connectivity have traditionally lagged international contemporaries. As of 2019, around 451 million Indians have access to some form of internet, marking a total penetration of 36 percent. However, as these numbers have consistently shown solid growth over the last few years, there are indications that the country could now be entering what some spectators are considering India’s first online golden age.

One such indication of this is the development of UPI, or Unified Payment Interface. A real-time payment system dedicated to facilitating inter-bank transactions, the creation of UPI holds enormous potential for convenience and driving future engagement. Viewing this system through the lens of online casinos, it can be possible to gain a more in-depth look at where the country’s infrastructure has recently expanded, and why the markets currently show such unprecedented promise.

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UPI, as a system, is multifaceted, and can effectively replace many other payment methods which, while still valid, are more limited in scope, typically incurring delays and larger transfer fees. Developed by the National Payments Corporation of India, and regulated by India’s Reserve Bank, this new UPI system has generated significant user confidence, making it a perfect fit for the upward world of online transactions. 

Online casinos are a perfect example where UPI could prove useful, as services such as Genesis Casino have been seen accelerating success recently. Drawing in players with deposit bonuses and free spins, the games here range from classic slots and roulette up to modern entries like live casino games. Though deposit options for websites like these almost always come with multiple avenues, the introduction of UPI could serve as the final lowering of prohibitive hurdles.

As of 2020, online shopping within India represents 2.9% of total retail sales, according to this study by JP Morgan. On average, this accounts for yearly spending per individual of around ₹25.4 thousand. Compared to the top five countries in the world, who spend at least ₹90 thousand each, this leaves considerable room yet to grow. While not directly applicable to services like online casinos, these statistics still demonstrate substantial untapped potential.

In terms of online casinos, and many other online services, a lack of valid payment integration has so far proven a constant limiting factor. For example, credit cards are one of the more common ways in which users access online casinos, but only around 3% of people in India hold any form of credit card. UPI works through the far more common method of simple bank connections, which ensures near-instant access to a far larger portion of the public. 

Aiding in this growth is the increasing penetration of smartphones. Already reaching more than 77% of the population, this continual upward trend paints a promising future in Indian e-commerce. Combined with UPI, these developments turn online payments from alienating to some to accessible to nearly all.

 

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The exact rate of adoption of UPI remains to be seen, but early indications show a market primed for the opportunities this technology represents. Whatever pattern UPI follows, digital industries such as online casinos are ready to take advantage, and could serve as reliable indicators of things yet to come.

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