Though globally credit cards still account for the biggest share of e-commerce settlements according to WorldPAy 2014, for India cash-on-delivery is used for more than half — 50-80 per cent — of all online transactions, says a new index compiled by the UN trade body United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Even after the wave of ecommerce gripping Indian consumers so rapidly, India has been ranked a lowly 83rd on the UNCTAD new Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce — businesses selling to the general public — index, which surveyed 130 economies, and covered countries on four indicators: internet use, secure servers, credit card penetration and postal delivery services.
India scores 40.6 on index value with 1.8 per cent individuals over 15 years owning a credit card (2011 data), 12.6 per cent using the Internet (2013 data), 48.2 secure servers per million people and 100 per cent population having mail delivered at home.
One of the reason for India’s such low rank is low number of credit card users, according to the index report. “India is quite far down and you can see why because you have low levels of credit card use. Also, at the country level you still have relatively low Internet use. But one of the strong points is that you have mail delivered at home. Far from all (countries) have 100% (mails delivered at home) like in India,” said Torbjorn Fredriksson, chief of the Information and communications technology analysis at UNCTAD.
Globally, the top four countries with highest readiness for electronic commerce are Luxembourg, followed by Norway, Finland and Canada.
The Alibaba Group is the world’s largest e-commerce company by gross merchandise value—volume of goods and services being transacted — followed by Amazon and eBay.
However, despite the current statistics, India is expected to become the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market, according to market watchers. Morgan Stanley expects the size of the Indian internet market to rise from $11 bn in 2013 to $137 bn by 2020 and market capitalisation of these internet businesses could touch $160-200 bn from the $4 bn at present. India’s internet market was at $11 bn (gross merchandise value) in 2013, of which $11 bn was online travel and e-commerce was $3 bn.