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Digital payments, wallets and shopping were the top categories Indian credit card holders spent on in 2021, revealed CRED Insights. The high-trust platform for individuals, brands, and financial institutions, today analysed data and released highlights on the credit spending of its members during the year. 

The data indicates interesting insights and spending patterns across various categories such as health and wellness, travel, shopping, utility payments, digital payments, wallets and more.

June-October 2021 saw an increase in the adoption of digital payments and wallets as more individuals opted for paying rent and education fees via credit. Similarly, credit card spending on e-commerce shopping soared from January to April, and August to October during the festive seasons. Expenditure on food and utility bills remained consistent during all months while food and beverages saw high spending after the lockdown restrictions were eased from July to October.

Following are some of the other key findings from the data analysed:

Spendings on travel increase with safer options and festive season
As travel restrictions eased and vaccination picked pace, more individuals packed their bags to venture out. Travel credit card expenditure was 1,103.11 crore in September – higher than any month in 2021. The spending remained on a high in October with 1,091 crore spent by members.

May and June saw 24 lakh transactions, amounting to a total of 675 crore. However, July saw a return of travel with credit card spending rising to 602.26 crore.

With CRED’s ‘book now, travel later’, many members were also able to book their vacations for the year-end festivities during September and October.

Maldives and Dubai, which opened borders to Indians, were the most picked international destinations of 2021. Within India, popular destinations were Goa, Coorg, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bangalore and Mumbai for staycations and short trips.

Wellness and personal care see a gradual rise in spending
July to October witnessed increased spending: Especially for CRED members, the in-app store constantly upgrades its options for its members with new brands and products. In July, the expenditure on wellness was 31.16 crore, which rose to 43.45 crore in August while September recorded the highest spending in the wellness category of 44.96 crore.

January to March saw the highest spending on fitness: Each year, new year resolutions for fitness bring unseen faces to gyms, fitness facilities, and in current circumstances- home fitness. In 2021, the first quarter saw a spike in credit card payments on fitness. January recorded 40.80 crore (40,80,49,975.5) expenditure on fitness while February and March saw 38.97 crore (38,9780820.9) and 35.4 crore (354173632.5) being spent respectively.

On CRED store, the following categories saw an uptick in demand:

The curation of men's grooming products have been favorite among cred members in Grooming and Personal care

Attention to health gave a boost to Gummies( as nutraceuticals) contributing to 30% of the overall wellness category

Pent-up spending on food and beverages since July

Online delivery- From March to May, individuals spent over 1,000 crore, collectively, on food and beverages when the pandemic restrictions were strict and online food deliveries were the only alternative to dining out.

There was a drastic increase from July to October - as the restrictions were lifted across various states and more individuals started venturing out to eateries, cafes and bars. August ( 1,750 crore) and September ( 1,727 crore) recorded the highest transactions and payments made on food and beverages. October continued to see the rise with 1,427 crore spent.

Rent payment on credit cards gave rise to digital payments and wallets

CRED launched its in-app product rentpay via CRED Max in the month of September, which allowed members to put their major expense of rent on credit cards and use the savings effectively. Interestingly, September recorded spending of 5676 crore on digital payments and wallets. This continued October with 5744 crore spent. Prior to this, the maximum spent in this category was in July ( 4018 crore) and June ( 3463 crore).

Education payments move to credit cards

Members can also conveniently pay tuition fees, school fees and college fees with CRED Max. From July ( 186.39 crore) to August ( 238.97 crore), as new sessions started, credit card spending increased drastically on education. More individuals moved their big expenses of education fees to credit, which resulted in high spending in September ( 247.71 crore) and October ( 207.08 crore).

Festive season sees spike in shopping

The festive season continued to be a busy period, seeing a large number of transactions on gifts, clothes, accessories, electronics among other things, as per the report

October recorded the highest expenditure on shopping with INR 7535 crore being spent on shopping. Another interesting trend in shopping emerged after the restrictions were eased. The spending increased gradually - July ( 4,758 crore), August ( 6,833 crore) and September ( 5,926 crore) compared to a combined total of 7,624 crore in June and May. A total of 52,000 crore was spent on shopping during the year.

Affordability continues to play a key role with bank offers, easy EMIs etc

Over the last few years, many e-commerce websites have partnered with merchants to offer minimal interest on purchases that are converted to EMIs. This has increased the purchasing limits of consumers, leading to steady spending on finances. A total of 12,661 crore was spent by individuals on finances with 1,000 crore being spent every month collectively.

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