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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Credit cards in India to soon hit 100-million mark, RBI data reveals
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Credit cards in India to soon hit 100-million mark, RBI data reveals

As of December 2023, there were 97.9 million outstanding credit cards, with a record 1.9 million additions during the month alone, the latest Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data revealed.

The rise is driven by a combination of sustained push from banks and evolving consumer spending patterns.Premium
The rise is driven by a combination of sustained push from banks and evolving consumer spending patterns.

The popularity of credit cards in India is on a rise, with the total number hitting the 100 million mark.

As of December 2023, there were 97.9 million outstanding credit cards, with a record 1.9 million additions during the month alone, the latest Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data revealed.

The calendar year 2023 saw the addition of 16.71 million cards, a significant increase from the 12.24 million added in 2022. This trend of growth has been consistent over the past five years, with the number of credit cards in circulation swelling by nearly 77 per cent from 55.53 million in December 2019. 

This uptick is driven by a combination of sustained push from banks and evolving consumer spending patterns.

ALSO READ: These credit cards by top 5 banks including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank offer free access to airport lounges

“The aggressive push for credit cards from banks and changes in spending patterns have led to the surge in credit cards in circulation. Nowadays, credit cards are allotted to a person according to their eligibility. Earlier, credit cards were not so easy to obtain. Banks have introduced several types of credit cards that have led to an increase in credit cards in force. However, they have started to reduce these now," said Saurabh Bhalerao, associate director, CareEdge, reported Business Standard.

Bhalerao further said that changes in spending consumer patterns and increased demand for credit cards are being driven by offers like “zero-cost EMI".

HDFC Bank leads

Among the private sector players, HDFC Bank continued to lead with 19.81 million cards in circulation in December 2023, higher from 19.51 million in November. Earlier this week, HDFC Bank announced that it had reached the 20 million mark in January this year.

Other players include ICICI Bank with 16.48 million, SBI Card with 18.48 million cards and Axis Bank with 13.58 million.

Credit card spending among Indians spiked to ~1.65 trillion in December 2023, up from ~1.61 trillion in November. This increase reflects mixed spending trends in point of sale (PoS) and e-commerce payments. 

While point of sale transactions dipped slightly to ~58,300.18 crore from ~59,014.93 crore in November, e-commerce payments rose to ~1.06 trillion from ~1.02 trillion.

Transactions of leading credit card issuers also saw an increase. Transactions via HDFC Bank’s credit cards jumped to ~44,771.87 crore in December from ~42,049.32 crore in November. 

Likewise, ICICI Bank’s card transactions increased to ~28,213.32 crore from ~27,772.63 crore, and Axis Bank posted a rise in transactions to ~19,055.30 crore from ~18,582.84 crore. However, transactions on SBI Card, issued by the public sector lender, dropped to ~29,249.29 crore from ~31,407.57 crore in November 2023.

By and large, credit card transactions in Dec 2023 reported a 32 per cent year-on-year jump from ~1.25 trillion in December 2022, reflecting a robust expansion.

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Published: 26 Jan 2024, 12:58 PM IST
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